A US Black Hawk helicopter training in Romania was forced to initiate an emergency landing in Bucharest, the capital and commercial center.
The helicopter reported a loss of altitude while flying over the city, forcing it to land on a road, striking two light poles. No one was injured.
Traffic police said the helicopter signaled that it was experiencing technical difficulties, leading them to clear an area intended for cars and pedestrians at Charles de Gaulle Square in time for the landing.
Romania’s Ministry of National Defence later confirmed the news, saying the helicopter pilots were able to control the aircraft while landing to ensure zero casualties.
“We regret the incident that happened Thursday… with a helicopter of the US Armed Forces forced to land in Charles de Gaulle Square in Bucharest,” the ministry told local newspapers. “Measures have been ordered to avoid the occurrence, in the future, of such incidents.”
NEW – U.S. Black Hawk made an emergency landing in the middle of the Romanian capital, Bucharest. It knocked down 2 light poles. No injuries were reported.pic.twitter.com/7TJvgwtdJt
— Disclose.tv 🚨 (@disclosetv) July 15, 2021
The Black Hawk helicopter was one of several aircraft participating in an exercise in preparation for a military parade that will mark the end of the Romanian Army’s mission in Afghanistan.
Authorities have yet to disclose the results of the initial investigation, but the US Embassy in Romania said it is closely following developments regarding the incident.
“The site has been secured by local police authorities and the aircraft has been temporarily moved to the side of the roundabout to allow for traffic to continue to flow. The United States is coordinating with the Romanian Air Force and local authorities to remove the helicopter from the traffic circle,” the embassy said in a press release.
In response to the incident, ministry spokesman Brigadier General Constantin Spinu told Reuters that the country has canceled the participation of all aircraft in the upcoming event.
Another Black Hawk-Related Incident
Last month, an incident involving a newly-acquired S-70i Black Hawk utility helicopter occurred in the Philippines. The vehicle crashed during a night flight training near Capas, Tarlac.
According to Philippine Air Force spokesperson Lt. Col. Maynard Mariano, the helicopter was carrying three pilots and three crew members before it took off. No survivors have been recovered.
The country announced that the Black Hawk fleet has been grounded while the incident is being investigated.