An Army Helicopter, a Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk went off the radar and lost contact with the air traffic controllers and has gone missing. The aircraft was carrying out an training exercise in Hawaii close to Oahu and was manned by a crew of five. It is feared the plane ditched into the sea and the U.S. Coast Guard and military helicopters have mounted a massive search of the ocean to try and locate the missing crew.

The chopper was on a routine training exercise and its loss will be a blow to the army which has been suffering a number of casualties in training exercises during peace time.

Officials at the Wheeler Army Airfield have confirmed that the aircraft lost contact with the ground controller around 10 PM. As it was night, search and rescue operations were severely handicapped but apparently, debris of the chopper was located about two miles from the coast about an hour and a half after it crashed into the sea. The search teams used powerful searchlights to locate the debris and the worst is feared for the crew, according to a report by Fox News.

The Black Hawk

The Black Hawk is a versatile machine and has been in service with the army for over 40 years. It was sold to a number of countries and the army has operated it in Iraq, Afghanistan and other places. The helicopter can also be used as a gunship.

In this particular case, two Black Hawks which belonged to the 25 combat aviation brigade had taken off for a night training exercise. Night training is part of the curriculum of a pilot and is generally a routine affair.

The helicopter is a four bladed machine with two engines and has an excellent safety record. In view of this, the crash is a mystery and a court of inquiry will try and establish the cause of the accident.

Many people will be wondering why the choppers took off at night, but Lt. Col. Curtis Kellogg, public affairs officer for the Army's 25th Infantry Division said the night exercises are a routine part of a pilot's training.

Alarming accidents

The US armed forces have to look inwards as during the last month nearly 25 soldiers and air crew have died during training exercises.

Just a month back a C-135 transport plane blew up killing 16 marines and a few days ago an Osprey ditched into the sea off the coast of Australia and three marines died. The spate of accidents will surely alarm the top echelons of the military leadership, including the commander in chief President Trump.