Taiwan Black Hawk helicopter grounded for inspection, American manufacturer: will assist in investigation

 Taiwan Black Hawk helicopter grounded for inspection, American manufacturer: will assist in investigation

At present, the cause of the crash is not clear, and 44 Black Hawk helicopters of the Taiwan military have been completely grounded for inspection, and Sikorsky, the aircraft manufacturer, said it would provide assistance to the investigation organization.

It is worth noting that this is the second time that a Black Hawk helicopter has crashed in Taiwan in two years, and that this type of helicopter also has frequent accidents worldwide. According to Taiwan media, there have been 10 crashes in the world in the past five years.

Media photo of UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter crashed on the 2nd

According to Taiwans Central News Agency reported that Taiwans military personnel said in the evening of the 2nd that, after deducting 15 Black Hawks belonging to the air service headquarters of the Ministry of the interior (one was wrecked in Lanyu before, and there are 14 left), Taiwans military currently has 44 Black Hawk helicopters, 30 in the army and 15 in the air force rescue team (one was wrecked on the 2nd, and there are 14 left).

In order to be cautious, the 44 Black Hawk helicopters have been grounded in an all-round way, and systematic inspection has been carried out on control, radar, power, body structure, etc. At present, S-70C helicopter and EC-225 helicopter are responsible for rescue work.

The Black Hawk helicopter manufacturer Sikorsky Aircraft Company, which has been acquired by Lockheed Martin, said in response to the inquiry that it was aware of the incident in Taiwan and expressed its deepest condolences.

As for whether Sikorsky will send a team of experts to Taiwan to assist in the investigation, the company did not give a clear response, only indicating that safety is the companys primary goal, and Sikorsky has provided assistance to the investigation agency. As for the details such as the cause of the accident, the investigation organization will reply to the public. However, the response did not indicate which units the investigative body was.

Two Taiwan Army Black Hawks crash in two years

According to the comprehensive Taiwan media report, the Black Hawk helicopter is a multi-purpose helicopter with double turbo axle engine and single rotary wing manufactured by Sikorsky Aircraft Company of the United States. After several improvements and upgrades since its service in the United States in 1979, UH-60M is the newer version.

During Chen Shui Bians reign, Taiwan Army purchased 60 UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters from Sikorsky with the Tianyuan project. The unit price of each set is about NT $600 million, together with maintenance, personnel training, spare parts, random weapons, etc., with a total expenditure of NT $84.6 billion. The Black Hawk helicopter began to deliver aircraft in 2015, and completed the battle force on October 31, 2019.

In October 2019, the military formation ceremony of Black Hawk helicopter at Longxiang base in Taichung source: China Times

Less than two years before the crash, that is, on February 5, 2018, a UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter from Taitung to Lanyu, carrying out the EMS medical evacuation mission, crashed, killing six patients and medical staff on board.

In addition, on January 25, 2016, a Black Hawk helicopter from the army aviation special operations command made an emergency landing in Nantun District, Taichung city due to abnormal running in of its gearbox.

According to the statistics of Taiwan media, in the world, including two in Taiwan, there have been 10 crashes of Black Hawk helicopter in the past five years, including two in the United States at the end of 2019, including December 5, when a Black Hawk helicopter belonging to the National Army crashed in Minnesota, killing all three people on board; September 26, a Black Hawk helicopter in the U.S. Army crashed in Bo, Louisiana One person was killed and three injured in the crash of the joint combat readiness training center in erkeburg.

Shen Yiming, who was killed in the accident on January 2, is the chief of staff of the Taiwan army. This position is called the highest position of Taiwans military personnel. According to the China times, Shen Yiming is also the highest rank general among the victims of the KMTs defeat in Taiwan in 1949.

On the night of the accident, Taiwans Defense Department issued a press release saying that Liu Zhibin, deputy chief of staff and executive officer, was acting as chief of staff from now on.

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