LEESBURG, Floride. – At least one person has died after a Black Hawk helicopter crashed into a swamp near Leesburg Airport during a training exercise on Tuesday, according to reports from the Federal Aviation Administration and the Leesburg Fire Rescue.
The FAA said four people were on board the Sikorsky UH-60 firefighting helicopter when it crashed at around 4 p.m.
Fire crews said the crash appeared to be a total loss and no survivors were located.
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Black Hawk helicopters are widely used by the US military and 28 other countries, according to Lockheed Martin, the aircraft manufacturer.
A photo from the Leesburg Fire Rescue Service showed black smoke coming from a wooded area of the airport.
Crews said most of the fires are now under control and US forestry is on site plowing a line around the scene to prevent any vegetation fires.
Leesburg Police Captain Joe Iozzi said officers were able to speak to witnesses at the scene.
“It is obvious that the helicopter entered a spin and at one point the tail separated from the main body,” said Iozzi.
Leesburg officials said the FFA would open its investigation on Wednesday.
“The tail actually went onto the airport runway while the main body of the helicopter entered the wooded swamp area, making it difficult for rescue teams to return,” Iozzi said.
This is a developing story. We will update this story as more information becomes available.
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