Mere minutes after the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter took flight on Thursday afternoon, the Minnesota National Guard crew transmitted a frightful alert: “Mayday.” Then the signal faded.
The Guard lost contact with its helicopter just after 2 p.m. local time, officials stated. Its wreckage was located in a field some two hours later. The crash killed all three soldiers on board the flight.
The helicopter departed from the Army Aviation Facility in St. Cloud, Minn., approximately 65 miles northwest of Minneapolis. The journey was a “maintenance test flight,” Guard officials stated, but they didn’t publish any other information about the circumstances of the crash, citing an impending investigation. Authorities have not identified the victims.
“My heart breaks for the families, the friends and the fellow soldiers,” Gov. Tim Walz (D) stated at a Thursday evening news conference. “The coming days will be dark and difficult.”