Helicopter crash that killed an Army pilot was ‘not an accident’: report

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A view of UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters carrying U.S. and Afghan trainees take off at Kandahar Air Field, in Afghanistan, Monday, March 19, 2018. The United States has delivered two Black Hawk helicopters to Croatia amid a mini arms race with neighboring Russian ally Serbia and simmering tensions in the post-war Balkan region. The U.S. Embassy in Croatia’s capital, Zagreb, said Thursday, Feb. 3, 2022, the UH-60M multi-purpose helicopters will contribute to Croatia’s growing defense capabilities and military preparedness in support of NATO. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul, File)

A view of UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters carrying U.S. and Afghan trainees take off at Kandahar Air Field, in Afghanistan, Monday, March 19, 2018.AP Photo/Rahmat Gul, File

  • Capt. James Bellew was killed March 30 in a crash involving two helicopters at Wright Army Airfield.

  • A source familiar with the ongoing investigation told Army Times the incident was “not an accident.”

  • A criminal investigation is underway.

Capt. James Bellew, an Army pilot at Fort Stewart-Hunter Airfield in Georgia, was killed last week in a helicopter crash that is currently under criminal investigation, Savannah Now reported.

An official statement issued March 30 from Fort Stewart-Hunter Airfield’s 3rd Infantry Division confirmed the incident that killed Bellew involved two UH-60 helicopters at Wright Army Airfield, but did not share further details.

On Monday, an anonymous source familiar with the investigation told the Army Times that the incident, which occurred at approximately 2 a.m., was “not an accident.”

In a statement to Insider, Lt. Col. Lindsey Elder, public affairs officer for Fort Stewart-Hunter Airfield’s 3rd Infantry Division said, “Capt. Bellew was on MEDEVAC duty the night of the incident. MEDEVAC crews sleep on site to remain on call at Wright Army Airfield during their shifts to remain postured to respond to medical emergencies. The initial indication is that all other crewmembers were asleep at the time of the incident.”

“Capt. Bellew was the only crewmember involved in the incident and he was the only one injured or killed in the incident,” Elder’s statement continued: “At this point, we cannot address the manner of the damage to the two aircraft, timeline of events, or the response from the tower and emergency services, as those details are still considered part of the active investigation.”

Bellew, a native of Charlottesville, Virginia, was a decorated officer serving with the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, Savannah Now reported. Over the course of his military career, he was awarded the Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, and Army Service Ribbon.

The US Army, as well as its Criminal Investigation Division, did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment.

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