An odd scene turned tragic unfurled at the Breton Bay Golf and Country Club in Leonardtown, Maryland today, as a military helicopter crashed onto the golf course. The U.S. Army UH-60 Blackhawk took off from Fort Belvoir in Virginia before crashing into the course approximately at 1:50 PM local time. Three crew members were in the helicopter; one died in the hospital while the other two are recovering from injuries. According to witnesses, the helicopter was already flying low, although there wasn’t too much worry because of the course’s proximity to a river, which makes it a popular training spot for Marine Corps and Navy aircraft. The Blackhawk then began to spin out of control and land disastrously in the space between Holes 3 and 4 of the course. The golf course says that no one was playing golf in that area of the course when the crash occurred.
Fort Belvoir is the home of a major aviation batallion that a double-digit number of H-60 helicopters. The batallion is primarily used for the aid of senior leaders in the U.S. Army and the Department of Defense. According to a recent report, more than half of H-60s in the U.S. Army are over 30 years old. As a result, there was already a plan in place to purchase 61 new UH-60s for $1.1 billion.
This accident comes about two weeks after a similar incident occurred nearby, when a fighter jet crashed in a forest area near Joint Base Andrews, also in Maryland. That pilot parachuted out of his F-16 once he realized there were mechanical issues and that the plane wouldn’t land on a local neighborhood. Officials at Joint Base Andrews, home of Air Force One, later informed reporters that the pilot was on a training mission and that no one was hurt in the incident.