Three National Guard members were killed in a helicopter crash in New York state Wednesday night, according to the state’s Division of Military and Naval Affairs.
Authorities said a New York Army National Guard UH-60 medical evacuation helicopter based at the Army Aviation Support Facility at Greater Rochester International Airport crashed while on a routine training mission.
The crash was reported shortly after 6:30 p.m..
“This is a heavy, heavy burden upon all of us,” Monroe County Sheriff Todd Baxter said at a press conference. “These are our freedom providers… just showing again that freedom is not free. We lost three great Americans today in the service of our country.”
According to preliminary 911 reports, “there were calls of sputtering sounds of an engine, and that the aircraft was flying very low, more low than normal,” Baxter said.
Shortly after the calls, there were reports of a crash.
Baxter said authorities have been in contact with the control tower at the Greater Rochester International Airport, but have not reviewed whether those on board the helicopter were communicating with anyone in the tower at the time of the crash.
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SOURCE: USA Today; Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, Victoria E. Freile