ST. CLOUD, Minn. — UPDATE 8:52PM: A UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter went down in Minnesota Thursday killing all 3 members aboard, Minnesota Gov. Tim Waltz said at a news conference.
The National Guard Public Affairs Office confirmed that it lost contact with the helicopter at 2:05 p.m. CST while it was conducting a maintenance test flight that originated from St. Cloud.
The St. Paul Fire Department tweeted that it had deployed a rescue squad in support of a Minnesota Aviation Air Rescue Team (MART) activation. The helicopter was missing for hours before the National Guard confirmed that it went down south of the Minnesota city of roughly 66,000.
The Minnesota State Patrol deployed a helicopter and a Cirrus aircraft with thermal imaging to join the search as part of the MART effort.
The Minnesota National Guard released the following statement:
On or about 2:05 p.m. on December 5, 2019, the Minnesota National Guard
lost contact with a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter while it was conducting a
maintenance test flight that originated from St. Cloud, Minnesota. The
Minnesota National Guard and local emergency services are currently trying
to determine the location and status of the aircraft. The helicopter had
three Minnesota National Guard personnel on board. Our first priority is the
safety and well-being of our Guardsmen and our thoughts are with our
soldiers and their families at this time.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has rescheduled a tree lighting in light of the situation.
According to a release from his office, “Governor Walz is in communication with the Minnesota National Guard and will be at the Capitol to monitor the developing situation.”