Deadly crashes ground US Army flights

Lazy eyes listen


Following fatal helicopter crashes in Alaska and Kentucky, the US Army has grounded non-critical military flights. The Pentagon stated that all aviators, including active-duty personnel, must receive additional safety instruction.

The military arm announced the action on Friday, saying the directive is effective immediately for all Army members save those “participating in critical missions.”

“The safety of our aviators is our top priority, and this stand down is an important step to ensure we are doing everything possible to prevent accidents and protect our personnel,” Army Chief of Staff James McConville said.

The ground stop was caused by a series of recent disasters involving Army aircraft. Two AH-64 Apache helicopters crashed near Healy, Alaska, on Thursday after a training operation, killing three servicemen and injuring another. The military has not yet identified the cause of the event, but investigators are due to arrive at the crash site on Saturday.

In a separate training mishap in Kentucky last month, nine Army personnel from the 101st Airborne Division were killed. During a nighttime mission, two UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters crashed in midair while flying in formation, killing all aboard.

Another helicopter crash occurred in Alaska last February, also involving an Apache gunship, resulting in injuries to soldiers and damage to the aircraft but no fatalities.

Though the deadly crashes are still being investigated, the Army stated that “there is no indication of any pattern between the two mishaps.”

To avert such occurrences, active duty troops will get new safety training between May 1 and 5, while National Guard and Reserve members will have until May 31 to finish the course, according to Army spokesman Lt. Col. Terence Kelley.