Minnesota National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk Helicopters Grounded

Minnesota National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk Helicopters Grounded Click to Enlarge Photo: Pixabay

(KNSI) - It has been one week since a Minnesota National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter went down near Marty, killing all three servicemen on board. They were on a routine maintenance test flight when the accident happened.

Colonel Shawn Manke says while it may have been considered a routine maintenance test flight, aviation maintenance is a very detailed process.

"It's not like a changing the tire on your lawnmower. I mean it's a very prescribed list of things that we follow step by step, and there are certain things that require a check on the ground, that you can do on the ground, and there are certain things depending on what type of maintenance you do that require a maintenance test flight. Some aircraft may not require maintenance test flight for a very long time. Others may require one one day, and then something else breaks, it may require one the next day. So it's just the frequency of the maintenance and what is done."

An investigation team from Fort Rucker, Alabama, is in Minnesota trying to figure out what caused the helicopter to crash.

Major General Jon Jensen says in the meantime, those helicopters are not flying.

"Currently, all UH-60s just here in Minnesota are currently grounded during the initial phase of the investigation. At some point, what we expect is that we will be cleared to begin flying. Very standard process, though, to do that during the initial phase of the investigation. But we expect our UH-60s will be flying again shortly."

The first funeral took place today for Warrant Officer Candidate Kort Plantenberg. He was born in St. Cloud, graduated from Albany Area High School and was living in Avon at the time of the crash.

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