Crews to remove Black Hawk helicopters that crashed near Mineral Basin
Mar 2, 2022, 9:08 AM | Updated: 9:13 am
AMERICAN FORK CANYON, Utah — Crews from the Utah and Nevada National Guard will begin removing two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters that crashed near Mineral Basin on Feb. 22.
Officials said the helicopters will be sling-loaded from the area by a Nevada Army National Guard CH-47 Chinook helicopter and transported to the Heber Valley Airport.
A Nevada Army National Guard #CH47 #Chinook flies over the beautiful northern Nevada mountains during a training exercise, earlier this month. pic.twitter.com/zMLBMdOIWx
— Nevada Guard (@NVNationalGuard) February 21, 2018
“For the safety of the soldiers involved in the recovery operation and the general public, we are asking everyone to avoid Mineral Basin and the Heber Valley Airport on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning,” said Lt. Col. Gordon Pedersen, Utah National Guard director of aviation and safety.
The Black Hawk helicopters will be removed one at a time, and crews hope to remove both of them Wednesday if weather conditions are favorable.
The FAA has enacted temporary flight restrictions in the vicinity of Snowbird Resort and the Mineral Basin to keep nonrelated aircraft out during extraction operations.
At the airport, crews will load the damaged helicopters onto trailers and drive them to the Utah Army Aviation Support Facility in West Jordan.
Two Black Hawk helicopters crash near Snowbird; no injuries reported
“Although military training operations can be dangerous, accidents of this nature rarely happen,” said Col. Shane Manwaring, commander of the 97th Aviation Troop Command. “Our soldiers have worked tirelessly to prepare the aircraft for extraction from the area. It has been great to see our community partners support these efforts, especially the agencies of Snowbird, the U.S. Forest Service, Wasatch County, Wasatch County sheriff, Heber City police, Utah Highway Patrol and the Heber Valley Airport.”
The two Black Hawk helicopters crashed nearly two weeks ago during a training exercise. No crew members were seriously injured and both helicopters were damaged in the crash, which happened in the Mineral Basin, near Snowbird in American Fork Canyon.
One of the Black Hawks was visible from KSL TV’s Chopper 5 without blades and resting on its side while the other was upright with blades still attached.
“I’m extremely grateful that the Utah National Guard aircrews involved in the multi-aircraft incident at Mineral Basin walked away with only minor injuries. High-altitude recovery operations are complex by their very nature, especially with the restricted terrain and unpredictable weather patterns in Mineral Basin,” Pedersen said.
Robbie Shine from Steamboat Springs, Colorado, was about to get on a lift with his daughters when the helicopters crashed.
“You could hear metal crashing, a big cloud of all the new snow came flying up,” he said. “It was scary because the one helicopter that (was) closest to the Mineral Basin lift ended up being feet away from where those people were standing.”
WOW. Major Tom Carney, retired USAF Flight Nurse and Cory Inman caught this video today of @UTNationalGuard helicopters training in Mineral Basin that ended up with two Black Hawks down. NO injuries.
Thanks for sharing @IM_Inman !
READ MORE: https://t.co/GnzhPF2XF1 pic.twitter.com/yX18CCWIfs
— KSL 5 TV (@KSL5TV) February 22, 2022
All training flights have been canceled until further notice to review safety protocols and regulations.