The Ramona Airport will remain closed until at least Thursday afternoon as military investigators piece together what caused a Black Hawk helicopter to roll over after a hard landing, the airport authority says.
An accident investigation team from the U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center (USACRC) in Alabama is on its way to Ramona to head the inquiry, according to Capt. Will Martin.
Flight instructor Jimmy Carter’s plans to fly to Napa came to a crashing halt Wednesday when he discovered the chopper lying on its side.
“It’s aviation. Stuff happens once in a while,” he said. “Something we live with, but like I said, right now, you’re not disappointed you’re not flying. You’re happy and celebrating nobody got killed.”
Two California Army National Guardsmen were hurt Tuesday night when they made a forced landing in their UH-60 Black Hawk near the airport’s runway, tipping the huge aircraft over on its side. Martin says they were on a routine training mission at the time.
Both guardsmen were able to climb out themselves and suffered minor injuries. The helicopter, however, had significant damage.
All Army accidents must be reported and investigated, typically by the USACRC. The California Army National Guard is fully cooperating with investigators and airport personnel, according to Martin.
More information will be released once the report is finished.