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News | June 30, 2010

AFRCC responds to Army helicopter crash on Pikes Peak

By NORAD and USNORTHCOM Public Affairs

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – An Army Apache helicopter crashed on Pikes Peak, Colo., early Wednesday morning while conducting high altitude night operations training.

Flight for Life Colorado medical personal on-scene listed one crew member in critical condition and the other in good condition.

At approximately 1 a.m. Mountain time, the helicopter under the Army’s 3-10th General Support Aviation Battalion, Fort Drum, N.Y., crashed on the mountain. The unit had forward deployed to the Fort Carson, Colo. airfield for training.

The aircrew contacted their unit after the crash. The unit then contacted Flight for Life Colorado who launched a helicopter with medical personnel on board. Concurrently, the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center, located in the 601st Air and Space Operations Center at Tyndall, worked with Flight for Life Colorado and the 3-10th GSAB to rescue the two Apache aircrew members.

Due to the high altitude of the crash site, the Flight for Life helicopter landed at another location on Pikes Peak and medical personal hiked to the crash site.

Additionally, the AFRCC coordinated with the 3-10th GSAB to launch two UH-60 helicopters. Shortly after the helicopters arrived on scene, one crew member was able to hike to an awaiting helicopter, while the other crew member was hoisted out by the rescue helicopter. Both aircrew were transported to a local medical facility.

As the United States’ inland search and rescue mission coordinator, the AFRCC serves as the single agency responsible for coordinating federal search and rescue activities in the 48 contiguous United States.

The rescue coordination center directly ties into the FAA’s alerting system and the U.S. Mission Control Center. In addition to Search and Rescue Satellite Aided Tracking information, the AFRCC computer system contains resource files that list federal and state organizations which can conduct or assist in search and rescue efforts throughout North America.

The cause of the crash is unknown at this time.