Updated 8:45 a.m. — Three Idaho Army National Guard pilots were killed after their UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crashed south of Lucky Peak near Boise shortly after 8 p.m. Tuesday.
All three aboard were pilots with the Idaho Army National Guard participating in a routine training flight.
“This is a tremendous loss to the Idaho National Guard and our community,” said Major General Michael Garshak, adjutant general of Idaho and commander of the Idaho National Guard. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones as we work through this tragedy.”
Colonel Christopher Burt, the Idaho Army National Guard’s state aviation officer, confirmed the aircraft was last contacted at 7:45 p.m.
Once the Emergency Transmitter Locator device aboard the aircraft was activated shortly after 8 p.m., his team immediately initiated emergency aircraft recovery procedures, which included air and ground search and rescue crews.
At approximately 12:15 a.m. today, crews located the aircraft and personnel. The cause of the accident is unknown and an investigation will begin promptly.
Names of the deceased are being withheld until after next of kin have been notified.
Governor Brad Little has ordered flags to be flown at half-staff in honor of the three Idaho Army National Guard pilots.
“Our hearts are heavy today as we mourn the loss of three brave and talented pilots killed during service to our state and nation,” he said. “Their tragic deaths leave an emptiness in the lives of their families and loved ones, the entire National Guard community, and all of us. Our women and men in the Idaho National Guard bravely take on the inherent dangers of their work to serve the people of Idaho and the United States whenever called upon. As Idahoans, let’s quiet ourselves and reflect on their courage and sacrifice. Please join me in prayer for the heroes we lost and seek to comfort all the lives they touched.”
U.S. and Idaho flags should be lowered to half-staff until the day following the final memorial service, to be set later, per Idaho Code 67-820.