3 Idaho Guardsmen Die in Second Fatal National Guard Black Hawk Crash This Year

UH-60 Black Hawk Idaho Army National Guard
Idaho Army National Guard pilots and crew members flew in UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters into the sunset and the dark hours of the night, conducting night training on July 21, 2020 near Gowen Field in Boise, Idaho. (Becky Vanshur/U.S. Air National Guard)

The Idaho Army National Guard announced that three of its soldiers were killed when their helicopter crashed during a routine training flight Tuesday night.

All three were pilots flying in a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter that went down south of Lucky Peak near Boise, Idaho, shortly after 8 p.m., according to an Idaho Guard news release posted on Facebook.

The crash comes nearly two weeks after three New York National Guard pilots were killed when their Black Hawk crashed on another training mission.

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"This is a tremendous loss to the Idaho National Guard and our community," Maj. Gen. Michael Garshak, adjutant general of Idaho and commander of the Idaho National Guard, said in the release. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones as we work through this tragedy."

The Idaho Guard's last contact with the Black Hawk occurred at 7:45 p.m., Col. Christopher Burt, the Idaho Guard's state aviation officer, said in the release.

The aircraft's Emergency Transmitter Locator device was activated shortly after 8 p.m., and Burt's team "immediately initiated emergency aircraft recovery procedures, which included air and ground search and rescue crews," according to the release.

At approximately 12:15 a.m. Wednesday, crews located the crash site and the three soldiers. The cause of the accident is unknown, and an investigation will begin promptly, according to the release.

Names of the soldiers killed in the crash are being withheld until next of kin have been notified, the release adds.

The three New York Guard soldiers were killed when their Black Hawk crashed Jan. 20.

Chief Warrant Officer 5 Steven Skoda, Chief Warrant Officer 4 Christian Koch and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Daniel Prial were all pilots aboard the medical evacuation helicopter. They died when their aircraft went down while conducting night-vision proficiency training in the local training area.

-- Matthew Cox can be reached at matthew.cox@military.com.

Related: Army Identifies 3 New York National Guard Pilots Killed in Black Hawk Crash

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