Army Orders Grounding, Safety Reviews After Fatal Crashes

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After eight helicopter crew members were killed in three crashes in recent days, including one this week in Tennessee, the Army on Thursday grounded active-duty flight operations for a safety stand-down. The U.S. Army Forces Command said the grounding will last through Monday for U.S.-based units, according to the Army Times. Safety reviews will include maintenance, flight planning, crew briefings and debriefings, flight operations and risk management.“I have a duty to ensure that we are doing all that we can to prevent the loss of life and aviation accidents, and that is why we’re standing down to review our procedures and reaffirm our commitment to operating our aircraft safely and effectively,” Gen. Robert Abrams said in the Army announcement. A nationwide flight grounding hasn’t been done in recent memory, the Army Times reported.

It’s not yet known what contributed to the three crashes, which occurred in the last two weeks and are under investigation by the Army. On Wednesday evening, two pilots were killed when their AH-64D Apache crashed during a training flight near Fort Campbell in Tennessee. On the evening of Nov. 23, a UH-60L helicopter crashed while flying in Fort Hood Range in Texas, killing all four crew members on board. The same day, two on board another Apache were killed near Camp Humphreys in South Korea when their helicopter crashed about 6:30 p.m.

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