Gillibrand calls for investigation into Black Hawks after fatal helicopter crash

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — After the Black Hawk crash in Mendon last month that claimed the lives of three New York National Guard members, and another fatal UH-60 crash in Idaho, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is asking the Department of Defense to ground all Black Hawks.

“I do believe there is an issue that needs to be investigated,” Gillibrand says . She also says there could be a systemic issue with the aircraft and a closer look is needed so more lives are not lost.

Chief Warrant Officer Christian Koch was one of the three who perished in the farmer’s field in Mendon. “It was my worst nightmare, and it came true,” said Koch’s wife, Teressa DaGama. She supports this probe—saying the crash still doesn’t make sense.

“My husband had over 2,300 flight hours. He was an instructor pilot. He was a standardization pilot. And this was just another regular night,” DaGama said.

Until she said something went terribly wrong. DaGama said something could be off with the aircraft, especially with an almost identical incident happening in Idaho.

“And I know there are other Black Hawk helicopter pilots out there (who) are scared. And their wives are scared, and their children are scared,” DaGama said.

Sen. Gillibrand said asking for this investigation is just a start and is confident more will join her call.

“I believe that if I raise this in the Armed Services Committee, there will be other senators who want a full investigation,” Sen. Gillibrand said.

“I don’t want this to happen to anyone else, and I want all of these pilots to be safe,” DaGama said.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation by the Army. The New York National Guard says the Black Hawk that crashed in Mendon was manufactured in 1986.

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