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
updated 5:45 PM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
Pakistan Taliban say the school attack was revenge for the killing of children in a military offensive -- but they are being pressed by defections to ISIS.
A group that claims it hacked Sony Pictures has posted a public threat against moviegoers who see Sony's "The Interview."
updated 9:43 PM EST, Wed December 17, 2014
The gunman behind the deadly siege in Sydney this week was not on a security watch list, and Australia's Prime Minister wants to know why.
updated 4:48 AM EST, Thu December 18, 2014
Bestselling author Marjorie Liu had set her sights on being a lawyer, but realized it wasn't what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
updated 3:27 PM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
CNN's Matthew Chance looks into an HRW report saying Russia has "legalized discrimination against LGBT people."
updated 9:12 PM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
The Sydney siege has brought home some troubling truths to Australians. They are not immune to what are often called "lone-wolf" terror attacks.
updated 7:12 PM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
A social media campaign condemning Islamophobia under the hashtag #illridewithyou has taken off after Sydney hostage siege.
Bill Cosby has kept quiet as sexual assault allegations mounted against him, but his wife, Camille, finally spoke out in defense of her husband.
updated 6:44 AM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
China-bound AirAsia flight turns back to Bangkok after passenger throws water over crew member.
updated 5:26 AM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
It takes Nepalese eye doctor, Sanduk Ruit about five minutes to change someone's life.
updated 5:54 AM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
This epic journey crosses 13,000 kilometers, eight countries over 21 days. Find out where.
updated 9:31 AM EST, Fri December 19, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT