Army helicopter black boxes recovered from Alaska crash site
JUNEAU, Alaska (NewsNation) — The black boxes from two U.S. Army helicopters that crashed last week in Alaska have been recovered, the Army said Wednesday.
The two AH-64 Apache helicopters were returning to Fort Wainwright from an aerial gunnery range southeast of Fairbanks when they collided, killing three soldiers and injuring a fourth.
The victims of the crash were identified as Chief Warrant Officer 3 Christopher Robert Eramo, 39, of Oneonta, New York; Chief Warrant Officer 2 Kyle D. McKenna, 28, of Colorado Springs, Colorado and Warrant Officer 1 Stewart Duane Wayment, 32, of North Logan, Utah.
The fourth soldier, whose name has not been released, survived and is recuperating at home after being released from the hospital, the Army said.
An investigative team from Fort Novosel, Alabama, visited the crash site on Monday, where they discovered the data recorders and other “sensitive items,” the Army said.
John Pennell, a U.S. Army Alaska spokesperson, explained that the sensitive items included such things as night vision devices and communications equipment. He said the team is still investigating the site.
The Army grounded aviation units on Friday to conduct further training following recent deadly accidents.
A private memorial is scheduled for Thursday at Fort Wainwright, near Fairbanks.
Two Black Hawk helicopters crashed last month in Kentucky during a routine nighttime training exercise that killed nine soldiers, and in February a Tennessee National Guard Black Hawk crashed in Alabama during a flight-training mission, killing two crew members. Also in February, two soldiers were injured when an Apache helicopter rolled after taking off from Talkeetna, Alaska.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.