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Army Aviation Accident Investigation Course at Fort Indiantown Gap

By Shane Smith | Aug. 21, 2019

FORT INDIANTOWN GAP, Pa. —

The Pennsylvania National Guard recently repurposed a decommissioned UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter, using it to create a permanent, realistic aviation accident site at Fort Indiantown Gap that will be used to train our nation's Soldiers.

The 1978 model Blackhawk was hoisted by a larger CH-47 Chinook aircraft and was dropped from 125 feet, creating a mock helicopter crash site with significant damage and simulated casualties at Ft. Indiantown Gap Aug. 8.

Twenty three Army National Guard Soldiers from 10 different states were the first to utilize this new training asset during an Army Aviation Accident Investigation Course at Fort Indiantown Gap Aug. 19-23.

The course serves as the culminating exercise in a series of five accident investigation courses and is crucial because it allows students to practically apply all of the skills they’ve learned in the previous courses, preparing them to respond to accidents like this in the real world.

Students work together as an investigation team to determine the likely cause of the accident and assemble an accident report.

Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa. is now one of just four training sites capable of hosting such Army training and will continue to train and prepare Soldiers on aviation safety and accident investigation moving forward.

Well-prepared accident investigators play a vital role in accident analysis with the objective of preventing future accidents.