Puerto Rico Army Guard Aviation UH-72 Lakota Helicopter Goes Down


  Bookmark and Share

Puerto Rico Army Guard Aviation UH-72 Lakota Helicopter Goes Down

By Steve Hall

December 22, 2010 - On Monday A Puerto Rico Army Guard helicopter crashed off the cost of off the northern coast of Rio Grande, Puerto Rico Monday night while en route to a drug raid.

The Coast Guard received notification Monday evening from the Puerto Rico Army Guard Aviation unit of a missing UH-72 Lakota helicopter that was carrying six people. 

The UH-72 Lakota helicopter was transporting four Puerto Rico Army Guardsmen and two attorneys from the Puerto Rico Department of Justice, who departed Monday night from the Isla Grande Airport en route to the former Naval Station Roosevelt Roads in Ceiba, Puerto Rico.

Officials reported that one body was located and the remaining five are feared dead. The crew and passengers were reported to be Hector Ramirez, pilot, Carlos Acevedo, co-pilot, Col. Victor Torres Rodriguez, Sergeant Jose Omar Sostre, Francisco Mujica de Leon, prosecutor and Mario Torres Marin, prosecutor. Both prosecutors worked for the division of organized crimes.

Officials reported that the two prosecutors were traveling to Vieques to assist with serving 43 arrest warrants, this after a seven month drug cartel investigation. It was reported that the pilot had 10 years of flight experience and the co-pilot had six years.

It was reported that the Army Guard helicopter was flying with two other Army Guard helicopters, the flight was under heavy rain weather conditions and the helicopter was flying about 400 feet above sea level, the UH-72 Lakota helicopter was fairly new, it was purchased in 2009. The other two helicopters landed without incident.

Puerto Rico Governor, Luis Fortuno said in a statement "these accidents remind us of the sacrifice that these public servants carry on their shoulders day to day." Governor Fortuno has ordered all flags to fly at half-staff for the next seven days. The Coast Guard had assisted local emergency responders on Tuesday in the search for possible survivors.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the friends and families of the missing soldiers and public service attorneys on the disappearance of their loved ones," said Coast Guard Captain Marc Stegman, Sector San Juan acting commander.


Puerto Rico Army Guard authorities requested Coast Guard assistance in locating the missing aircraft. A Coast Guard Station San Juan 45-foot response boat crew located the helicopter debris field at approximately 1:30 a.m. Tuesday off the coast of Rio Grande, Puerto Rico.

Coast Guard rescue crews have been searching since Monday night aboard MH-65 Dolphin helicopters from Air Station Borinquen in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, Coast Guard Station San Juan 45-foot response boats and the Coast Guard Cutter's Reef Shark and Farallon.

Emergency responders from the Puerto Rico Army Guard, Puerto Rico maritime police, Puerto Rico Emergency Management and the Puerto Rico Department of Justice are also searching.

Other News Stories


Home Aviation News Aviation Stories Of Interest FAA Exam Upcoming Events Links To Other Sites General Aviation Helicopters Medical Factors Facing Pilots
Maintenance and Aircraft Mechanics Hot Air Balloon Aviation Training Handbooks Read Online Aviation History Legal Issues In Aviation Sea Planes Editorials
 ?AvStop Online Magazine                                                                 Contact Us                                                  Return To News                                          Bookmark and Share


AvStop Aviation News and Resource Online Magazine

Grab this Headline Animator