Report: Pilot error blamed for deadly Black Hawk crash
BATON ROUGE - An international media outlet said it has obtained a copy of a report into the crash of a Black Hawk helicopter that killed four Hammond-based National Guard soldiers and seven Marines off the coast of Florida.
The crash happened in March and is blamed on pilot error, the Irish Times posted on its website. The National Guard said Wednesday, it could not release information about the report and reserved comment until Thursday morning, when it is expected to send a news release to state-side media outlets.
"An investigation found the flight crew of the Louisiana Army National Guard Black Hawk UH-60 disobeyed a direct order by flying in thick fog and poor visibility in a high-risk night training exercise," the Irish Times posted. The report suggests the pilots suffered spatial disorientation by flying through a dark, fog-filled sky. They lost control of the Black Hawk and crashed after flying in low clouds and poor visibility and failed to switch to instruments that could help them navigate, the news agency wrote.
A Guard spokesperson said family members of soldiers and Marines involved had been given copies of the crash report. Apparently, a family member of a Marine passed the report on to the newspaper in Ireland.
The Irish Times said one of the Marines killed in the crash had ties to the country.
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