VanderWolf-Images/iStock(ST. CLOUD, Minn.) — A Minnesota Army National Guard helicopter with three people aboard has been located after it went down during a flight from an Army aviation facility in St. Cloud, Minnesota, on Thursday, according to a National Guard spokesperson.
“I can confirm the helicopter has been located after having gone down,” Master Sgt. Blair Heusdens, a spokesperson for the Minnesota National Guard confirmed to ABC News.
The status of the three Guardsmen who were aboard the UH-60 Black Hawk at the time it went down was unknown.
The UH-60 Black Hawk lost communication with the tower about 2:05 p.m. on Thursday while it was conducting a maintenance test flight, according to the Minnesota National Guard.
According to emergency radio calls, the helicopter called in a “mayday” about nine minutes after takeoff. Imagery from later in the afternoon showed what appeared to be wreckage from the Black Hawk just inside a tree line following an intense search effort.
“The Minnesota Army National Guard is currently trying to work with local authorities in St. Cloud based on its flight pattern,” Army Col. Joe Sharkey, director of communications for the Minnesota National Guard, told ABC News after the helicopter was reported missing.
Information about the helicopter’s flight destination was not immediately available, Sharkey said.
“The Minnesota Army National Guard is currently trying to work with local authorities in St. Cloud based on its flight pattern,” Sharkey told ABC News.
In September, one soldier was killed and three others were injured during an Army helicopter accident at the Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk training area in Louisiana.
A spokesperson for Fort Polk told ABC News at the time that the helicopter was a UH-60 Black Hawk medevac unit comprised of four soldiers that crashed while en route to pick up another soldier needing treatment for heat-related symptoms.
It was unclear what caused that crash, but the spokesperson said that the weather was clear and the helicopter did not strike power lines.
Then in November, two Apache pilots were killed during a helicopter crash in eastern Afghanistan. Initial indications were that the helicopter was not brought down by enemy fire.
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