Blackhawk helicopters crashed at a ski resort in Utah
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A Blackhawk helicopter crashed and another was damaged after an accident during a National Guard training exercise in Utah.
The two downed Blackhawk UH-60s caused the closure of the Snowbird ski resort in Little Cottonwood Canyon.
Images posted online showed the two helicopters a short distance apart on the slopes at Mineral Basin, on the southeast of the resort.
The Utah National Guard confirmed the training accident occurred at about 9.30am local time at the resort, which is about 28 miles (47 kilometres) from Salt Lake City.
“No crew members were injured in the accident. Both UH-60s were damaged. The incident is under investigation,” they said in a tweet.
Video footage from local ABC channel 4Utah showed people walking away from the two helicopters shortly after the crash.
A skier filming the crash from a chairlift commented as one of the Blackhawks went down in a plume of powder whipped by one of the helicopter’s rotors.
“It crashed, it f**ing crashed,” he said. “No way dude.”
Utah National Guard spokesman Jared Jones said the crash occurred during a standard exercise to train pilots to land in difficult areas regardless of weather conditions.
“We do train on the edge so that we’re ready for a combat environment anywhere in the world. The crews assume some level of risk. Every time you go fly a helicopter, there’s a little bit of danger involved. I’m just happy everyone is OK,” he said.
The crash comes about a year after two similar helicopter crashes. In January 2021, a UH-60 Blackhawk crashed during a training exercise and killed three in New York. The following month, a similar crash killed three in Boise, Idaho.
The Associated Press contributed to this report