The pilots were on a routine training flight when their Black Hawk helicopter went down near Lucky Peak.
BOISE, Idaho — Three pilots with the Idaho Army National Guard were killed Tuesday night when their helicopter went down near Boise.
The UH-60 Black Hawk crashed south of Lucky Peak just after 8 p.m. Tuesday. The three guard members were participating in a routine training flight, officials say.
“This is a tremendous loss to the Idaho National Guard and our community,” said Maj. Gen. Michael Garshak, adjutant general of Idaho and commander of the Idaho National Guard. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones as we work through this tragedy.”
The names of the pilots killed have not yet been released.
Col. Christopher Burt, the Idaho Army National Guard’s state aviation officer says the aircraft was last contacted at 7:45 p.m. An Emergency Transmitter Locator device aboard the aircraft was activated just after 8 p.m.
Burt’s team immediately launched air and ground search and rescue crews and initiated emergency aircraft recovery procedures. The wrecked helicopter was found in a remote area at 12:15 a.m. Wednesday morning.
It is unclear what caused the Black Hawk to crash. The Idaho Army National Guard says an investigation will be held into what went wrong.
Idaho Gov. Brad Little ordered flags flown at half staff in honor of the three pilots starting Wednesday. Flags will remain lowered until after the final guard member’s memorial service, he said.
“Our hearts are heavy today as we mourn the loss of three brave and talented pilots killed during service to our state and nation. Their tragic deaths leave an emptiness in the lives of their families and loved ones, the entire National Guard community, and all of us,” Little said. “Our women and men in the Idaho National Guard bravely take on the inherent dangers of their work to serve the people of Idaho and the United States whenever called upon. As Idahoans, let’s quiet ourselves and reflect on their courage and sacrifice. Please join me in prayer for the heroes we lost and seek to comfort all the lives they touched.”
A press conference to release more information about the crash is scheduled for 11 a.m. The press conference will be live-streamed in this story.
Several members of Idaho’s congressional delegation took to social media to express sorrow at the deaths of the pilots.
KTVB is working to gather more information, check back for details.
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