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29 Apr 2023
Kristina Wong

NextImg:Army Chief of Staff Orders Aviation Stand-Down After Two Crashes

Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville ordered an aviation stand-down on Friday after the Army’s third deadly helicopter crash in three months.

Active-duty units are required to complete a 24-hour stand-down between May 1st and 5th, and the Army National Guard and reserve will have until May 31, the Army said in a press release.

During the stand-down, the Army will review the risk approval/risk management process, aviation maintenance training program, aircrew training standardization and management, and supervisory responsibility, according to the Army.

The Army will also assess the flight-mission briefing process with an emphasis on risk mitigation, crew selection, flight planning, crew/flight briefings, debriefings and after-action reviews.

The stand-down grounds all Army aviators, except for those participating in critical missions, until the required training is completed and after any corrective actions are taken.

On Thursday, three soldiers were killed and one injured when two Apache attack helicopters collided as they were returning from a training mission near Fort Wainwright, Alaska.

Last month, nine solders were killed during a routine night training flight near Fort Campbell, Kentucky, when their Black Hawk helicopters collided.

In Februry, a Black Hawk military helicopter crashed near Highway 53 in Huntsville, Alabama, killing all on board.

“The safety of our aviators is our top priority, and this stand-down is an important step to make certain we are doing everything possible to prevent accidents and protect our personnel,” McConville said in a statement.

“During this stand-down, we will focus on safety and training protocols to ensure our pilots and crews have the knowledge, training, and awareness to safely complete their assigned mission,” he said.

“We are deeply saddened by those we have lost,” he added. “It is their loss that makes it all the more important we review our safety procedures and training protocols, and ensure we are training and operating at the highest levels of safety and proficiency.”

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