A Sikorsky HH-60G Pave Hawk of the 48th Fighter Wing crashed Tuesday on a beach in Norfolk, England during a training flight. The four crewmembers onboard all died in the incident.
The helicopter, one of two that set off from the base at RAF Lakenheath late in the afternoon of Tuesday, Jan. 7, were taking part in a training exercise in the dark. At this point it is not known whether the crew were using night vision goggles (NVGs).
HH-60G similar to the one that crashed off the UK coast on Tuesday. Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force
Local villages reported hearing the aircraft at a very low level prior to the crash at around 6:00 pm local time. News pictures revealed a long track of debris near a beach, which suggests that the helicopter was flying forward when the incident occurred.
“The loss of our Liberty Wing brethren is felt deeply across RAF Lakenheath,” said Col. Kyle Robinson, 48th Fighter Wing commander.
Low-level training exercises are a normal part of the training cycle for those who man the search and rescue (SAR) HH-60G helicopters, believed to be from the 56th Rescue Squadron.
The U.S. military is coordinating with UK police and the Ministry of Defense at the crash site.
Related: Military Training News