2 Army Apache Helicopter Pilots Injured However Steady After Coaching Crash at Joint Base Lewis-McChord

Two Army helicopter pilots have been injured after their plane went down on Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state Monday night throughout a routine coaching train, in response to a service assertion. 

The troopers have been taken to a hospital after their AH-64E Apache helicopter assigned to 4th Squadron, sixth Air Cavalry Regiment, sixteenth Fight Aviation Brigade, crashed somewhat earlier than 10 p.m., Army spokesperson Lt. Col. Bryen Freigo instructed Navy.com in an e-mail.

The incident comes after two Nationwide Guard Apache crashes in February, and an active-duty helicopter crash abroad late final yr that killed 5 troopers.

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“The 2 crew members have been medically evacuated to Madigan Army Medical Heart for analysis and therapy and stay on the hospital in steady situation,” Freigo mentioned. “Our ideas and prayers are with these households and troopers throughout their restoration.”

Freigo additional confirmed an investigative crew from the Army Fight Readiness Heart at Fort Novosel, Alabama, has been deployed to look into the incident. A spokesperson for the middle mentioned they may present no additional remark presently. 

Whereas the final active-duty Army helicopter crash claimed the lives of 5 Special Forces troops when it went down whereas conducting non-combat operations over the Mediterranean Sea in November, the Army Nationwide Guard has seen a surge in helicopter crashes over the previous few months alone.

It briefly grounded all of its helicopters after the part suffered back-to-back AH-64 Apache crashes final month. A Feb. 12 crash close to Salt Lake Metropolis resulted in two Utah Nationwide Guardsmen struggling gentle accidents however finally surviving the incident, an unlucky rarity for aviation crashes.

The second occurred Feb. 23 in northern Mississippi and claimed the lives of pilots Chief Warrant Officer 4 Bryan Andrew Zemek, 36, and Chief Warrant Officer 4 Derek Joshua Abbott, 42.

Earlier this month, a helicopter carrying U.S. Border Patrol brokers and Nationwide Guardsmen went down whereas flying over the U.S.-Mexico border, killing one agent and two Guardsmen. The UH-72 Lakota helicopter was a part of the federal government’s border safety mission, in response to an announcement from Joint Job Drive North.

As of April 2023, a report from the Authorities Accountability Workplace famous there had been not less than 28 Army Nationwide Guardsmen killed in rotary-wing mishaps over the past decade. Between the Army and Air Nationwide Guards, there have been 298 mishaps reported between fiscal 2020 and 2021 alone.

As these items are sometimes closely manned by part-time troops, the Nationwide Guard has points sustaining plane and guaranteeing its pilots have sufficient flight time, which can be partly accountable for the excessive variety of incidents, the report discovered.

No such analysis has been carried out since not less than 2018 on related active-duty Army aviation incidents.

— Rachel Nostrant is a Marine Corps veteran and freelance journalist, with work revealed in Reuters, New York Journal, Navy Instances and extra.

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