Losses and Aviation Safety

Three Minnesota Army National Guard Members Dead in UH-60 Black Hawk crash

Brig. Gen. Sandy Best said the Minnesota Army National Guard was devastated over the loss and is investigating the cause of the crash.

Three people died after a Minnesota Army National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crashed on Thursday after taking off from an airport in St. Cloud, Minnesota.

Contact with the Black Hawk was lost at around 2 p.m. after the crew sent a “mayday” signal. Master Sergeant Blair Heusdens said the helicopter was conducting a maintenance test flight from St. Cloud (MN) and that three Guardsmen were on board.

The helicopter came down into a snow-covered tree line near a rural township named Marty, some 75 miles from St. Cloud, down south of the Minnesota city.

All three Guardsmen on the helicopter were declared dead, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz confirmed Thursday evening. Walz, a former Guardsman, said that the soldiers were “brothers in arms.”

Brig. Gen. Sandy Best said the state’s guard was devastated over the loss and is investigating the cause of the crash. She did not identify the deceased, as the family has not yet been notified.

The Black Hawk’s last known location was about 10 miles southwest of the airport. Crews from St. Paul Fire and Rescue and the Minnesota State Patrol located wreckage near Kimball, Minnesota, NBC reports.

According to Scramble Magazine, at St. Cloud/Regional Airport (MN), two Army National Guard aviation units are based:

The 1st General Support Aviation Battalion,
171st Aviation Regiment (1-171st AVN (GSAB)), part of the Georgia Army National Guard with the Det.1 C Detachment 1, Air Ambulance Company Charlie (Det.1 C/1-171st AVN (AA)).

and

2-211th AVN (GSAB), part of the Utah Army National Guard with Det 1 B, Detachment 1, Heavy Helicopter Company Bravo (Det.1 B/2-211th AVN (HH))

Both units are equipped with the UH-60A. The 2-211th AVN also flies the CH-47D from St. Cloud.

Photo credit: Fox9

Gabriele Barison

Gabriele Barison is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Co-Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. He has flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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