Editor’s note: This story has been updated with additional information about the crash from The Associated Press.

A Black Hawk helicopter from the Tennessee National Guard crashed near Huntsville, Alabama, Wednesday, killing the two people on board, U.S. military officials told The Associated Press.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of two Tennessee National Guardsmen, and our prayers are with their families during this heartbreaking tragedy,” Brig. Gen. Warner Ross, the Tennessee National Guard’s top general, said in a statement. “We ask Tennesseans to join us in supporting their families during this time of unthinkable grief.”

According to Ross, two members of the Tennessee National Guard were killed during a training flight.

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency confirmed on Twitter that the crash involved a UH-60 helicopter. The crash occurred at about 3 p.m. Wednesday in Madison County, about 15 miles south of the state’s border with Tennessee, according to local media reports. Local news outlets showed large plumes of black smoke rising from the crash site. Multiple emergency response vehicles were on scene.

“We have no survivors,” said Brent Patterson, an investigator for the Madison County Sheriff’s Office.

In this image made from video taken from a Nest camera provided by Mia McShan, a cloud of black smoke rises from where a Black Hawk helicopter crashed on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023, in Alabama. U.S. military officials say two people on board were killed. (Mia McShan via AP)

Redstone Arsenal, an Army missile program center about 15 miles south of the crash site, is in full support of the investigation, according to a statement on the post’s Facebook page, but the crash is not connected to Redstone.

“Initial investigations have determined that the incident is not connected to Redstone Arsenal assets, and we will continue to support community authorities as the situation develops,” the statement said.

“I’m deeply saddened by the fatal helicopter crash that happened in Madison County today,” U.S. Rep. Dale Strong said in a tweet. “My heart hurts for those who lost their lives in this tragic incident and for their families as they learn of this news.”

The combat-tested Black Hawk is the primary medium lift helicopter for the U.S. Army performing a wide range of missions that encompass air assault, medevac, combat search and rescue, command and control and VIP transport. A typical crew includes three or four soldiers, and the aircraft can carry an additional 11 soldiers and their gear into battle.

The crash is at least the second Black Hawk crash to injure or kill Army personnel this year. In January, a UH-60M attempting to land at a training area in Germany amid “white out” snow conditions struck a stand of trees, destroying the aircraft’s tail and its main rotor, according to an official Army aviation safety circular. Nine soldiers suffered minor injuries in the crash, with two requiring evaluation at a local hospital.

Before Wednesday’s deaths, the most recent fatal Black Hawk crash had occurred in March 2022, when a medevac pilot destroyed two aircraft in an unauthorized flight. An Army official said the crash was “not an accident.

A total of 13 American troops and two foreign personnel died in Army Black Hawk crashes during a spate of accidents between August 2020 and February 2021.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Davis Winkie is a senior reporter covering the Army, specializing in accountability reporting, personnel issues and military justice. He joined Military Times in 2020. Davis studied history at Vanderbilt University and UNC-Chapel Hill, writing a master’s thesis about how the Cold War-era Defense Department influenced Hollywood’s WWII movies.



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