US Army Suffers Third Apache Helicopter Crash in Two Months

The US Army’s Apache helicopter is once again facing public scrutiny after a crash Monday night at a military base in Washington state.

A Boeing-made AH-64E attack chopper assigned to the 16th Combat Aviation Brigade plunged to the ground while participating in a routine training exercise, injuring its two pilots.

A spokesperson at the base said an “aviation mishap” was the cause of the accident, though he did not elaborate.

Following the crash, fire crews and deputies were sent to the site to assist in the rescue mission. According to one of the firefighters, the marshy, brush-heavy terrain made the operation difficult.

The incident is the third US Army Apache helicopter crash recorded in just two months.

On February 12, an AH-64 chopper crashed near Salt Lake City, injuring two Utah Army National Guard pilots. More than a week later, two soldiers died when an Apache crash-landed in a rural wooded area of Mississippi.

Safety Concerns

The recent crash occurred weeks after the US Army National Guard ordered a stand-down of its entire helicopter fleet.

A spokesman said the order will carry on indefinitely while the force is conducting a thorough review of its safety policies and procedures.

In 2023, an army aviation official admitted that the AH-64E Apaches had experienced a significant increase in electrical power generator failures.

Thick smoke formed in the cockpit because of the failure, reportedly causing breathing and visibility issues for pilots.

Apart from the three recent accidents, the AH-64E helicopter also figured in fatal crashes in the past, including in April 2023 when two Apaches collided mid-air, killing three US soldiers.

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