Army Investigators Check Site of Fatal Helicopter Crash
DOERUN, Ga. (AP) – Army investigators checked the site of a fatal military helicopter crash today, trying to determine why a special operations aircraft, equipped to navigate precisely at low altitudes and in the dark, clipped a wire on a communications tower in broad daylight and then broke apart and burned in a southwest Georgia field.
Four crewmen were killed in the yesterday’s crash of the M–47 Chinook helicopter near the small town of Doerun (DOH-run), but a fifth escaped with minor injuries and officials said he was making a speedy recovery.
All five were members of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, also known as the Night Stalkers, an elite unit that uses M-H-47 Chinooks to fly special forces commandos behind enemy lines under cover of night.
Officials said the crash occurred during a routine training flight from Savannah’s Hunter Army Airfield — home to one of the 160th’s three battalions — to Fort Rucker, Alabama, where the Army’s helicopter training school is located.
Lisa Eichhorn, a Fort Rucker spokeswoman, said Army crash investigators were on the scene today.
She said — quote — “The investigation has started in earnest. They’re … trained to do this kind of work. They’re going to do a very thorough job and they’re not putting any time constraints on it.”
Eichhorn said the Army has notified all the families of the dead soldiers and the names of the four victims should be released tomorrow morning. Army policy mandates a 24-hour delay between notification and the release of names.
SOURCE: The Associated Press