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Sat, Aug 22, 2009

Colorado Army Helicopter Crash Toll Now Stands At Four

Incident Occurred During High Altitude Training

Military authorities say the number of U.S. Army personnel killed when their Black Hawk helicopter went down near the peak of Colorado's second highest mountain is four. Three of the occupants of the aircraft were killed in the crash, and the fourth died on the way to the hospital. The names of the crew have not been released.

The helicopter went down Wednesday near the summit of Mount Massive, which at 14,421 feet is the second highest peak in the state. Officials said the crew was conducting high-altitude training "much like the environment they operate in Afghanistan," said Lt. Col. John Clearwater, a spokesman for the command at Fort Bragg, NC. All four were from Ft. Campbell, KY.

Wednesday's flight originate at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, about 90 miles from the site of the accident. The Associated Press reports that the cause of the accident is still under investigation, and that the aircraft's flight data recorder has been recovered and is being analyzed.

Black Hawk File Photo

The crew was part of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) at Fort Campbell, which is known as the "Night Stalkers", specializing in night operations. Black Hawks are the Army's primary utility helicopters, providing air assault, general support, aeromedical evacuation, command and control and special operations support to combat and stability and support operations.

FMI: www.army.mil

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