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Sen. Gillibrand ‘calls for investigation’ after fifth Black Hawk crash incident



Rochester, New York – Three soldiers from our region died following a Black Hawk crash: Chief Warrant Officers Steven Skoda, Christian Koch, and Daniel Prial.

Four additional Black Hawk crash incidents have taken place in the United States and overseas, between that time and now.

According to the Army Times, two Black Hawks went down last week in Georgia. The Army is claiming it’s not an accident and it is under criminal investigation.

Additional deadly accidents have occurred in Idaho, Utah, and the Middle East — the latter when a stabilizing device failed.

In January 2021, the crash in Mendon was eventually reported by the Army to be a ‘procedural error’. At the time, Col. Richard Goldenberg with the New York National Guard said the cause of the crash was not a maintenance issue, but a “procedural error during an emergency training maneuver.”

Goldenberg added that the U.S. Army then restricted practicing that specific emergency procedure, whatever it was, to flight simulators only.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) called to ground all Black Hawks in February 2021, claiming there is something in the aircraft, either mechanical or training-wise, that needs to be investigated.

She said at the time, “I believe that if I raise this in the Armed Services Committee, there will be other senators who want a full investigation.”

On Wednesday, Sen. Gillibrand spoke about these now five total crashes of U.S. military aircraft and if she’s renewing calls to ground the helicopters.

“I am calling for an investigation so that we can get to the bottom of what happened in these instances. It’s deeply concerning and we’ve lost several New Yorkers and it’s deeply disturbing, and so we need to have a fuller investigation with some oversight and accountability,” said Sen. Gillibrand.

In the past 15 months, 14 U.S. Soldiers have died as a result of these Black Hawk incidents.