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OZ Army Blackhawk Wirestrike

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Sydney Morning Herald


September 26, 2004 - 12:21PM


The crew of an army Black Hawk helicopter escaped injury today after it clipped power lines and made an emergency landing in far north Queensland.


The accident happened during a joint military exercise, about 10km from El Arish, south of Innisfail.


A helicopter ambulance and several road ambulances were rushed to the scene but their services were not needed, a Queensland Ambulance Service Spokesman said.


A defence spokesman said the pilot of the helicopter had been able to make an emergency landing after it struck the power lines while taking part in operation Swift Eagle.


The military exercise had commandoes practising advance force operations such as seizing and holding a sea port.


The spokesman said it was not known yet how many people were on board the helicopter.


"The helicopter got down safely and no one was injured," the spokesman said.


He said an investigation had already begun into the cause of the incident.


Earlier this year six army personnel were injured when a Black Hawk clipped a tree during an exercise near Oakey, west of Toowoomba and crashed.


Australia's worst Black Hawk accident occurred in June 1996 when 18 people died after two of the helicopters collided during a night exercise in north Queensland.

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