A Tennessee Guard UH-60 crashed in northern Alabama around 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023. Officials said there were no survivors, with at least two crew dead. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Erich B. Smith.
The two Tennessee National Guard members killed in a fiery crash on Wednesday were experienced pilots with over a decade of service each.
Guard officials said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Daniel Wadham of Joelton and Chief Warrant Officer 3 Danny Randolph of Murfreesboro both died when their UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crashed during a training flight near Highway 53 in Huntsville, Alabama.
Brig. Gen. Warner Ross, Tennessee’s adjutant general, confirmed the identities of the two soldiers in a statement late Thursday.
Chief Warrant Officer 3 Danny Randolph, UH-60 Black Hawk pilot from the 1-230th Attack Helicopter Battalion, Tennessee Army National Guard, performs preflight checks for an air assault mission as part of Northern Strike in Grayling, Michigan, on Aug. 12, 2022. Army National Guard photo by Spc. Joshua Whitaker.
“Words cannot express my sorrow for the loss of these two Tennessee National Guardsmen,” said Ross. “It is felt not only within the ranks of the Tennessee National Guard, but across our entire military community. We ask that Tennesseans continue to join us in prayer for these soldiers’ families amid this tragic loss.”
Both were assigned to A Company, 1-230th Assault Helicopter Battalion, from Nashville’s Berry Field Air National Guard Base. The 1-230th is the Tennessee Guard’s only UH-60 unit and regularly responds to a wide range of civil disasters, including Hurricane Florence in 2018 and the severe flooding in Tennessee in 2022.
An unconfirmed video of the crash circulating online said to be captured by a security camera shows what looks like a UH-60 plummeting directly toward the ground from a substantial height.
The helicopter in the video appears to be tumbling straight down with no effective steering or lift, as if a mechanical failure had caused catastrophic damage during a high-altitude flight.
A UH-60 from A Company, 1-230th of the Tennessee National Guard, during hoist training with the Nashville Fire Department rescue team at Burgess Falls, Tennessee. Video from 1-230th Facebook page.
The Madison County Sheriff’s Office in Alabama told several media outlets that the crash occurred around 3 p.m. on Feb. 15. Local first responders said that two people on board died in the crash.
Matt White is a former senior editor for Coffee or Die Magazine. He was a pararescueman in the Air Force and the Alaska Air National Guard for eight years and has more than a decade of experience in daily and magazine journalism.
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