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Two US Army Apaches crash in Alaska, the third domestic military helicopter crash in three months

Photo by George Frey/Getty Images

Two United States Army helicopters crashed as they returned from a training flight near Healy, Alaska, according to Fox News.

The crash is the second accident involving military helicopters in Alaska in approximately two months and the third domestic military helicopter crash since February 2023.

Each AH-64 Apache was carrying two people, according to U.S. Army Alaska spokesperson John Pennell. The spokesperson did not provide any additional information about the medical condition of the flight crew members.

"Two AH-64 Apache helicopters from the 1st Attack Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, at Fort Wainwright crashed today near Healy, Alaska, returning from a training flight," the 11th Airborne Division, also known as the "Arctic Airborne," stated on Twitter.

In early February 2023, two soldiers were injured when another U.S. Army AH-64D Apache crashed in Talkeetna, Alaska. The crash was described as a rollover incident that occurred when the helicopter attempted takeoff. The two soldiers were taken to area hospitals and released, according to an Army statement.

The Apache, which was one of four from its battalion, was also traveling for training and had stopped in Talkeetna to refuel.

About a week later, a Black Hawk helicopter crashed in Alabama and killed two National Guardsmen. The UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crashed near an Alabama highway on Feb. 15, 2023, killing two Tennessee National Guardsmen who were conducting a training flight. The helicopter caught fire upon impact.

A 2009 report from Slate said that helicopters crash about 35% more often than all aircraft in general, with 9.84 crashes per 100,000 hours as opposed to 7.28 overall. However, they are slightly less fatal. The report stated that helicopter crash fatalities occur at a rate of 1.3 deaths per 100,000 flight hours versus 1.4 deaths for aircraft in general.

That number sank down to 1.02 helicopter fatalities per 100,000 flight hours by 2017, according to Slack Davis Sanger. But the number rose to 1.64 in 2018. In 2019, nearly 20% (24/122) of all helicopter accidents in the United States were fatal.

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