31 Killed in Marine Chopper Crash

31 killed in Marine chopper crash (CNN)

A U.S. Marine Corps helicopter crashed early Wednesday in western Iraq killing 31 people, military officials said. The chopper crashed near Ar Rutbah at about 1:20 a.m. local time (5:20 p.m. Tuesday ET). It was carrying personnel from the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing and the 1st Marine Division.

Military officials said a search and rescue team was at the site and an investigation of the crash was under way. The crash came as insurgents targeted multinational troops, Iraqi security forces, government offices and polling places across the country.

A shame. As I’ve noted numerous times, helicopters are dangerous even in a non-hostile environment. They do things fixed wing aircraft can’t but the price is sometimes very high.

James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. DC Loser says:

    CH-53s have a history of problems with its rotor hub. It’s a big machine and all that weight resting on that hub puts a tremendous load on it. The vibration you feel when one of those stallions is flying towards you is incredible.

  2. Bit'sBlog says:

    31 Killed in Marine Chopper Crash
    One aditional point, however… This is the biggest single-action casualty count for the entire Iraqi conflict thusfar. Can anyone name any campaign in our history, where that single action death count was less?

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