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Idaho National Guard identifies 3 pilots killed in Black Hawk helicopter crash

Written by on February 5, 2021

The Idaho National Guard has identified the three pilots who died this week after their Black Hawk helicopter crashed during a routine training flight. 

The soldiers were Jesse Anderson, 43, Matthew Peltzer, 43, and George Laubhan, 39 — all chief warrant officers, according to a statement. They started serving in the military branch as early as 2005 and each leave behind their wives and several children. 

“The sudden and tragic loss of three of our fellow Guardsmen is extremely heartbreaking to every member of our Idaho National Guard family,” said Maj. Gen. Michael Garshak, the Idaho National Guard’s commander.  

Jesse Anderson, left, and Matthew Peltzer were identified as two of the pilots killed in the crash.

Jesse Anderson, left, and Matthew Peltzer were identified as two of the pilots killed in the crash. (Idaho National Guard)

IDAHO NATIONAL GUARD HELICOPTER CRASHES 

“I have received numerous messages of condolence from many people here in Idaho and throughout the nation, and all of your thoughts, prayers and support are sincerely appreciated and much needed,” he added. “It is very comforting, at such a challenging time, to have the care and support of so many.” 

The incident happened during a routine training flight near Boise.  

Military officials last made contact with the helicopter around 7:45 p.m. Tuesday. An Emergency Transmitter Locator device onboard was activated around 8 p.m. 

Crews eventually found the wreckage and personnel early Wednesday, south of Lucky Peak. 

A UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter arrives at Gowen Field Air National Guard Base in Boise, Idaho, in June 2020. One of the Idaho National Guard's Black Hawk helicopters crashed Tuesday night, killing three pilots onboard, officials say. (Photo by Thomas Alvarez/Idaho Army National Guard)

A UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter arrives at Gowen Field Air National Guard Base in Boise, Idaho, in June 2020. One of the Idaho National Guard’s Black Hawk helicopters crashed Tuesday night, killing three pilots onboard, officials say. (Photo by Thomas Alvarez/Idaho Army National Guard)

“The cause of the accident is unknown and an investigation will begin promptly,” officials said in a statement.  

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This is the second deadly crash of a Black Hawk helicopter from the National Guard in the past two weeks. 

On Jan. 20, a Black Hawk from the New York National Guard ‒ which was also on a training mission ‒ crashed outside Rochester, killing three veteran pilots

Fox News’ Lucas Tomlinson contributed to this report. 

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