An aviation safety team from the U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center has confirmed that the black boxes from the two Black Hawk helicopters involved in last week’s deadly crash have been recovered and that the flight data has been sent to Fort Rucker, Alabama, for further analysis.
“We cannot provide a timeline as to when the investigation will be completed,” Lt. Col. Tony Hoefler, spokesman for the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) said. “The duration of the investigation is determined by the thorough analysis of all factors.”
It was also announced that three of the nine soldiers who died in the crash were posthumously promoted to the next higher grade and that an honorary promotion ceremony will take place with the families of those who died at a later date.
The soldiers posthumously promoted were Corporal Emilie Marie Eve Bolanos who was promoted to Sergeant, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Zachary Espinoza who was promoted to Chief Warrant Officer 3, and Warrant Officer 1 Aaron Healy who was promoted to Chief Warrant Officer 2, according to a statement from the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).
“The 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell and Blanchfield Army Community Hospital are providing a wide range of health services to the Soldiers and Families affected,” military officials said in a statement obtained by ABC News. “Chaplains, the Family Advocacy Program, Military Family Life Consultants, behavioral health professionals, and multiple crisis lines are available for Soldiers, family members, and the Fort Campbell community.”
The Black Hawk helicopters from the 101st Airborne Division — one with five on board and another with four on board — were on a “routine training mission” when they crashed at about 10 p.m. on March 29, Army officials said. The helicopters were “flying a multi-ship formation under night vision goggles,” officials said.
“My heart goes out to the families of these service members and to the members of the 101st Airborne Division who bravely and proudly serve our country each and every day,” Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said in a statement shortly after the crash. “I’m saddened by this tragic loss, and I am working with Army leadership to make sure our troops and their families receive the care that they need in the wake of this accident.”
The recorders have now been sent back to Fort Rucker for further analysis in the ongoing accident investigation and authorities will release more information as it becomes available.
Source: ABC7 Chicago