Firefighting Helicopter Crashes During Training Exercise, Leaves At Least One Dead

(Screenshot/Leesburg Fire Rescue/Facebook)

Olivia Ingrassia Contributor
Font Size:

A firefighting helicopter crashed in a marsh near Leesburg International Airport in Florida Tuesday afternoon leaving at least one dead.

The Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter was conducting a training exercise at the time of the crash, about forty miles north of Orlando, according to The New York Times. 

There were four people on board at the time of the crash, which occurred around 4 p.m. Tuesday. As of 5:30 Wednesday morning, the crash appeared to be a total loss, with one death confirmed and no survivors found, according to CBS News.

“At some point, some kind of mechanical failure evidently occurred and the helicopter went into a tailspin,” said Joe Iozzi of the Leesburg Police Department, Fox 35 Orlando reported. “The tail separated from the main body of the aircraft, the tail went onto the airport runway area and the main body of the aircraft went back into that swampy, wooded area and fire crews are currently conducting a rescue operation.” (RELATED: 3 National Guard Members Killed In New York Helicopter Crash)

The Leesburg Fire Rescue along with assistance from the U.S. Forest Service worked to get a small fire at the scene of the crash under control, Leesburg Fire Rescue reported.

The FAA will be releasing the aircraft tail number once it is verified by investigators, and the National Transportation Safety Board will conduct the investigation as well as provide future updates, according to Fox 35 Orlando. 

In January, three national guard soldiers were killed in a helicopter crash in upstate New York during a routine night vision training mission.