Army Chief of Staff James McConville on Friday ordered a nationwide aviation stand down for safety training, following Thursday’s midair helicopter collision near Healy, Alaska.
Three Fort Wainwright soldiers died in that collision between the two AH-64 Apache helicopters, and a fourth soldier is being treated at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital. The names of the deceased will be released Saturday, the Army said.
Aviators who are engaged in critical missions will continue flying, but all other Army aviators are grounded until they complete required training. Army National Guard and Reserve were given until May 31 to complete the training.
Thursday’s crash followed a March 29 crash of two Black Hawk helicopters in Kentucky near the Tennessee border that killed nine soldiers.
Two other soldiers were injured Feb. 5 when an Apache helicopter was involved in a rollover accident in Talkeetna. On Feb. 15, a Black Hawk helicopter from the Tennessee National Guard crashed in Alabama, killing two crew members who were on a training flight.
In all, three military helicopter crashes have killed 14 soldiers in three months.