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Army helicopter crash in Hawaii: 5 soldiers missing

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A US Army helicopter seems to have crashed off Kaena Point. While confirming the crash of the helicopters, officials have said that rescue operation is in full swing.

Authorities claim that rescue crews have been deployed from different agencies including the U.S. Coast Guard, Army, Honolulu Fire Department, and Ocean Safety. Authorities claim that the helicopter that reportedly clashed Wednesday, is UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, the mainstay of the American army. It went down Wednesday west of Kaena Point, Oahu.

Officials claim that the two UH-60s from the 25th Infantry Division’s Combat Aviation Brigade were part of a routine training mission. But suddenly a helicopter lost radio and visual contact with the other helicopter. There were at least five soldiers onboard including two pilots and three crew members. Military officials confirm all were members of the 25th Infantry Division’s Combat Aviation Brigade at Wheeler Army Airfield.

The downed helicopter is a lethal machine. The UH-60 Black Hawk is a four-bladed, twin-engine, medium-lift utility helicopter manufactured by Sikorsky Aircraft. Sikorsky submitted the S-70 design for the United States Army’s Utility Tactical Transport Aircraft System (UTTAS) competition in 1972. The Army designated the prototype as the YUH-60A and selected the Black Hawk as the winner of the program in 1976, after a fly-off competition with the Boeing Vertol YUH-61. Modified versions have also been developed for the U.S. Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard. In addition to U.S. Army use, the UH-60 family has been exported to several nations. Black Hawks have served in combat during conflicts in Grenada, Panama, Iraq, Somalia, the Balkans, Afghanistan, and other areas in the Middle East.

Lt. Col. Curt Kellogg, 25th Infantry Division reportedly told the media, “The second helicopter crew did an initial pass to see if they could recover contact with the aircraft, and then again standard procedure for us to have two aircraft in the air to assist and for safety, notified Wheeler Air Field, and then we went and picked up some support and came back out, in that interim contact with the Coast Guard and everything else”..

When asked if the army received any distress call from the downed helicopter, the officer said, “I’m not aware of any, but I don’t have the specifics and I won’t get into a lot of specifics, because there will be an investigation into this particular incident.”

Meanwhile Gov. David Ige expressed his shock over the unfortunate incident. “Our hearts are heavy as search and rescue crews work at the site of an Army helicopter crash off of Kaena Point. We stand with our U.S. Army ohana during this difficult time”, said the Governor.

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