Military, Modern Day, News

Nine American Soldiers Killed as Helicopters Crash

On 29 March, a devastating misfortune hit two US Army helicopters at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, around 10pm local time.

The two military aircraft used for medical evacuation were on their daily flyover for training exercises. In a tragic turn of events, the two reportedly crashed into each other. The helicopters in question, the HH-60 Black Hawks, are often used for military evacuation and assault operations.

Helicopter Crash
The scene of one of the crashed Black Hawks. In total 9 servicemen lost their lives in the helicopters.

“Nine crew members have reportedly lost lives in the devastating event at Cadiz, Trigg County,” said Fort Campbell. One helicopter carried five soldiers, while the other had four on board. All those on board were wearing nighttime vision goggles, increasing the mystery and speculation around the nature of the incident.

Sadly, none of the nine soldiers made it out alive. 

“It was like fireworks going off in the sky.”

Resident Nick Tomaszewski reports that he and his wife were sitting out at the back of their house. While gazing out, they saw two helicopters pass by in close proximity and close to the ground. “For whatever reason, last night, my wife and I were sitting there looking out on the back deck,” he explained. “And I said, ‘Wow, those two helicopters look low, and they look kind of close to one another tonight,'” he continued.

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The resident reports this was closely followed by the two aircraft looping back moments later in what seemed like a “firework going off in the sky.” He further added that the lights of both helicopters went out. What followed was a “huge glow like a fireball” in the sky.

US Blackhawk
A U.S. Army UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter Iraq in 2005. Some say the helicopters are now dated. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Photographer’s Mate Edward G. Martens)

According to Mr. Tomaszewski, flyovers are common. Seeing helicopters happens almost daily since they live only a mile off the crash site. In addition, the helicopters often fly in close formations, but this time they were unusually close.

Focus on the soldiers and their families.

“Right now, our focus is on the soldiers and their families who were involved,” stated a Fort Campbell official. It is yet to be found if the two crashed into each other or met the tragedy independently. But then again, we are left with more questions than answers. What went wrong? Right now, we do not know for sure.

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How did the miscalculation happen if the soldiers were equipped with night vision goggles and were on a routine exercise? Was it even an accident, or are there external, more suspicious factors involved? If it were not a crash, how did the two meet the same tragic fate right about the same time?

US Army Secretary Christine Wormuth called it a “heavy day.” Undoubtedly, this is one of the worst accidents for the US military in recent years.

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On Wednesday, the two Black Hawks went down about 30 miles or 48 kilometres northwest of Fort Campbell.

“The crash occurred in a field and a wooded area,” said Kentucky State Police Trooper Sarah Burgess. She has further reported that no residence damage has been observed. Additionally, there were no injuries on the ground. Currently, the safety team is headed to the site to investigate the incident.

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The helicopters involved belong to the 101st Airborne Division, also known as the “Screaming Eagles.” According to the army, these HH-60 Black Hawks are designed to support military operations like evacuations and air assaults. At this moment, all eyes are on the investigation team. We can expect an official statement soon.