Skip to main content

U.S. Air Force helicopter crash on UK coast kills four

By CNN Staff
updated 9:35 AM EST, Wed January 8, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • An investigation is expected to take several days, police say
  • The helicopter was on a low-level training mission when it crashed
  • The Pave Hawk is a modified version of a Black Hawk

(CNN) -- Recovery of the bodies of the four U.S. Air Force personnel who died Tuesday evening when their military helicopter crashed near Cley, on the North Sea coast of England, could take more than a day, an official said.

"You would be very much mistaken if you thought that this would be a quick process," Norfolk Constabulary Chief Superintendent Bob Scully told reporters.

"A lot hinges on our ability to understand what happened to the aircraft that crashed, and that includes the detailed investigation that needs to be done."

The U.S. Air Force Pave Hawk HH-60G helicopter, from a British base in Lakenheath, crashed in a nature preserve.

The Royal Air Force base said the crash occurred during an evening training mission while the helicopter was flying low.

This file photo shows a U.S. Air Force HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter on a training mission in 2011.
This file photo shows a U.S. Air Force HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter on a training mission in 2011.

Cley is 180 kilometers (about 110 miles) northeast of London.

Removal of the dead from the aircraft "can disrupt the evidence and so it has to be done methodically, step by step ... possibly until tomorrow," Scully said.

Specialists from the Royal Air Force, the U.S. Air Force and investigators from the Norfolk Constabulary were working together to find out what happened, he said.

Scully said he did not know whether families of the dead had been notified.

Though ammunition scattered across the site during the crash, "the community do not need to be concerned" as long as they respect the cordon erected around the site, he said.

Roads near the site have been closed and will probably remain that way until Monday, he said.

According to the Air Force website, a Pave Hawk is a "highly modified" version of a Black Hawk helicopter that often carries a crew of two pilots, one flight engineer and one gunner.

Death toll in Scottish helicopter crash rises

3 killed in medical helicopter crash in Tennessee

Copter crashes during Antarctica science mission

CNN's Barbara Starr contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
This looks like a ghost ship, but it's actually the site of a tense international standoff between the Philippines and China.
updated 11:55 AM EDT, Sat July 26, 2014
The reported firing of artillery from Russian territory is a sign Vladimir Putin has escalated the Ukraine battle, says CNN's military analyst Rick Francona.
updated 4:46 AM EDT, Sun July 27, 2014
The young boy stops, stares, throws ammunition casings at the reporter's feet without a word.
updated 8:37 AM EDT, Sun July 27, 2014
A picture taken on June 28, 2014 shows a member of Doctors Without Borders (MSF) putting on protective gear at the isolation ward of the Donka Hospital in Conakry, where people infected with the Ebola virus are being treated. The World Health Organization has warned that Ebola could spread beyond hard-hit Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to neighbouring nations, but insisted that travel bans were not the answer.
The worst ebola outbreak in history spreads out of control in West Africa. CNN's Michael Holmes reports.
updated 8:48 PM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
Sure, Fido is a brown Lab. But inside, he may also be a little green.
updated 4:06 PM EDT, Thu July 24, 2014
ITN's Dan Rivers reports from the hospital where those injured by an attack in Gaza were being treated.
updated 9:03 AM EDT, Mon July 28, 2014
Photograph of an undisclosed location by Patrycja Makowska
Patrycja Makowska likes to give enigmatic names to the extraordinarily beautiful photographs she shoots of crumbling palaces.
updated 4:04 AM EDT, Wed July 23, 2014
When the Costa Concordia and its salvage convoy finally depart Giglio, the residents will breathe a sigh of relief -- and shed a tear.
updated 2:08 PM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
Flight attendants are wearing black ribbons to show solidarity with fallen colleagues in "a tribute to those who never made it home."
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT