Army Releases Report on Black Hawk Crash That Claimed 2, But Refuses to Explain Cause

The Army is releasing a report surrounding the fatal crash of a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter in February — without explaining why the aircraft crashed. The Redstone Rocket acquired parts of an Army investigation report on the crash on Wednesday. Chief Warrant Officer 3 Daniel Wadham and Chief Warrant Officer 3 Danny Randolph died in the crash. The two soldiers both belonged to the Tennessee Army National Guard. They had been assigned to complete a series of routine training flights within Tennessee and Alabama. The training had been deemed “low risk,” according to the documents. The two warrant officers were the only personnel on board. The report describes the aircraft passing from airspace above a cloud layer in which visual flight was possible into the thick cloud layer, in which they had to rely on their instruments. After exiting the cloud layer in an “unrecoverable flight attitude,” the utility helicopter crashed on a final approach to Huntsville International Airport on the median of Alabama’s State Route 53. The documents acquired by the Redstone Rocket don’t disclose the cause of the accident. A part in which the Army’s safety investigation board explains its rationale in assessing the cause is also redacted. Brig. Gen. Jonathan Byrom, commander of the Army Combat Readiness Center at Fort Novosel (formerly known as Fort Rucker), cited a need to protect the Army’s Accident Prevention Program in redacting the report.
“In an effort to maintain and continue to increase the effectiveness of the Army’s Accident Prevention Program, certain portions of the safety report are closely protected and exempt from disclosure,” he wrote in a letter to the news outlet. Crashes of Black Hawk helicopters have fueled scrutiny of Army aviation — with some elected officials urging a comprehensive review of flight-related accidents. Nine soldiers were killed in a Fort Campbell, Kentucky, crash in which two Black Hawk helicopters collided in March, according to Army Times. In April, two U.S. Army AH-64 Apache helicopters collided over a rugged, mountainous area in Alaska, killing three soldiers. This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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