Air Force helicopter crashes at airport


A UH-1N helicopter with the 40th Helicopter Squadron performs flight maneuvers July 13, 2019, at the “Mission Over Malmstrom” open house event on Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. The two-day event, featured performances by aerial demonstration teams, flyovers, guided tours and static displays. (U.S. Air Force photo by Devin Doskey)

Will Carpenter
Wyoming Tribune-Eagle, Cheyenne
(TNS)

Aug. 30—CHEYENNE — A UH-1N helicopter from the 37th Helicopter Squadron at F.E. Warren Air Force Base crashed at Cheyenne Regional Airport while conducting a routine training exercise Wednesday morning.

Though the cause of the 10:30 a.m. crash is yet to be determined, officials at the F.E. Warren Public Affairs Office said that the three-person crew deployed an emergency autorotation landing technique, in which the motor is disengaged and the blades of the helicopter are driven solely by airflow.

The crew members sustained non-life threatening injuries and were released from the hospital Wednesday afternoon.

“I would like to personally thank the first responders from the Wyoming Air National Guard and American Medical Responsewho arrived on scene and ensured everyone remained safe,” said Col. Johnny Galbert, 90th Missile Wing commander, in a news release. “We are thankful there were no major injuries.”

Wyoming Air National Guard fire department personnel responded first, followed by two F.E. Warren fire department trucks and a 90th Missile Wing command unit, according to the release.

An Air Force Interim Safety Board is currently conducting an investigation into the cause of the crash, until the Safety Investigation Board convenes next week. Major Victoria Hight of the Public Affairs Office said that the final reports don’t usually result in a public release, and that the information remains internal to reduce accidents.

If it’s determined that someone was at fault or acted inappropriately, however, then a report could be released to the public in the future.

Runway operations are currently on hold until the debris near the west end of the runway has been investigated and recovered by ISB. Tim Bradshaw, director of aviation for the Cheyenne Regional Airport, said he’s working with F.E. Warren Air Force Base officials on a timeline for when the airport can reopen.

He said if the debris wasn’t cleared Wednesday, it likely would be Thursday.

The crash is not expected to affect the airport’s reopening to commercial traffic on Sept. 10 following a runway reconstruction project.

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