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Helicopter crash: 4 dead in USAF crash with high tide threatening debris field

A helicopter crash took the lives of all four on board of the U.S. Air Force Pave Hawk helicopter when it crashed on the coast of England Tuesday. Before the copter plummeted into the rocky coastline, witnesses said they heard the copter “misfiring.”

Helicopter crash takes the life of 4 USAF military during training exercises in England on Tuesday.
Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images

The crash happened during a training mission near Salthouse, England, according to the N.Y. Post on Jan. 8. Frequent training missions go on in the area and witnesses on the ground say the copter sounded different than how they normally sound, describing the sound of the engine as “misfiring.”

It was about 6 p.m. local time when the copter crashed during the training, which entails flying low and fast. The helicopter was based at the Royal Air Force Station in Lakenheath, Suffolk County.

The Royal Air Force base was not far from the crash area. USAF units and personal are frequently guests of the RAF at this base. Ground crews immediately responded to the crash and it didn’t take long for the news to surface that all four on board had perished.

The names of the crew were not released pending notification of family. The area around the crash site was closed off once it was learned that the copter had live ammunition on board.

Witnesses describe bullets scattered all along the debris field of the crash, which is about the size of a football field. Some of the debris were in danger of being washed out to sea in the high tide, as the copter’s crash was close to the water. It could take weeks for authorities to complete their investigation into this crash.