Mon, Jan 06, 2020 - Page 2 News List

Black Hawk chopper rescues man

MISSIONS CONTINUE:The air force said it would still carry out rescue missions, despite a crash that killed eight military officers in New Taipei City on Thursday

Staff writer, with CNA

A crew boards a Black Hawk helicopter yesterday. An air force official said that the recent grounding of Black Hawk helicopter flights does not apply to emergency rescue missions.

Photo taken from the Republic of China Air Force Command Headquarters Facebook page

A UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter on Saturday airlifted a hiker with acute mountain sickness, two days after the helicopter crash that killed eight military officers, the air force said yesterday.

The helicopter was dispatched at about 10:49am from the Chiayi Air Base to help a male hiker in a mountainous area of Hualien County, the air force said in a Facebook post.

After returning to the base, the hiker was transferred to a nearby hospital for treatment, it added.

The air force said it would continue to carry out emergency rescue missions, despite Thursday’s crash that killed Chief of the General Staff General Shen Yi-ming (沈一鳴) and seven others in the mountains of New Taipei City’s Wulai District (烏來) on Thursday.

The government had previously announced that it had grounded all of its Black Hawks pending safety checks after the fatal crash.

However, an air force official said yesterday that the grounding only applies to Black Hawk helicopters conducting routine missions and that the air force still has a number of the helicopters ready at all times for emergency rescue missions.

In 2010, Taiwan purchased 60 Black Hawk helicopters from the US at a cost of NT$84.67 billion (US$2.81 billion at the current exchange rate), with 30 assigned to the army, 15 to the Ministry of the Interior’s National Airborne Service Corps (NASC) and 15 to the air force’s Air Rescue Group.

In February 2018, an NASC Black Hawk crashed while transporting a patient from Orchid Island (Lanyu, 蘭嶼) to Taitung, while the helicopter from Thursday’s incident was from the Air Rescue Group.

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