2 US pilots killed in Marine Corps helicopter crash

TEHRAN, Apr. 01 (MNA) – Two US Marine pilots died in a helicopter crash near Yuma, Arizona, on Saturday, according to the US Marine Corps.

The two pilots were conducting a routine training mission when the AH-1Z Viper helicopter crashed late on Saturday, CNN reported.

The cause of the crash is under investigation, according to a release from the Marine Corps. The pilots' names are being withheld until 24 hours after next-of-kin notification, according to the statement.

According to Captain Gabriel Adibe, a Marine Corps spokesman, the helicopter crashed on the vast Marine Corps Air Station Yuma training grounds but no additional information was immediately available.

The station is located about 3.2 kilometers from Yuma and the 3,367-square-kilometer training ground is one of the world's largest military installations.

There have been several fatal crashes involving Marine Corps aircraft near Yuma over the years.

In 1996, a Marine electronic-warfare plane went down during a training mission on a gunnery range near the Gila Mountains, about 40 miles (64 kilometers) east of the Yuma station, killing all four people aboard. The crew was from the Marine base at Cherry Point, North Carolina, and was training at Yuma.

Two Marine pilots, a crew chief and a Navy corpsman died in a 2007 crash of a search-and-rescue helicopter near the Colorado River during a training mission. The crew members were attached to a headquarters squadron of Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma.

In 2012, seven Marines were killed when an AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopter and a UH-1Y Huey utility helicopter collided in midair during a training exercise in a remote area of the Yuma training grounds. The crash site was in the Chocolate Mountains on the California side of the range.


News Code 143713


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