- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 11, 2003

WASHINGTON, March 11 (UPI) — A UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter attached to Fort Drum went missing Tuesday afternoon and might have crashed in New York state, according to Pentagon officials.

Fort Drum is home to the Army's 10th Mountain Division. The Black Hawk is the Army's front-line utility helicopter used for air assault, air cavalry, and aeromedical evacuation units. It is designed to carry 11 combat-loaded, air assault troops.

There have been three fatal Black Hawk accidents claiming 13 lives in the Army since October, not counting Tuesday's possible crash.

The most recent occurred Feb. 25 when a Black Hawk crashed in Kuwait during night training maneuvers.

Overall, the Army aviation accident rate is more than 40 percent higher over the past four months than the average rate during the same period over the past three years. The rise could be due to the build-up for a possible war with Iraq.

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