Remembering 2021 Black Hawk helicopter crash in Mendon

MENDON, N.Y. — Nine soldiers were killed when two Army Black Hawk helicopters crashed during a training exercise in Kentucky on Wednesday night.

In January 2021, a Black Hawk helicopter in Mendon also crashed during a fatal training exercise. The helicopter landed with its nose down in a field after the crew rehearsed an emergency maneuver involving the flight controls during a drill. The field was off West Bloomfield Road southeast of Mendon Ponds Park.

Three Amry National Guard members died in that crash, all of whom served in Afghanistan. Steve Skoda, 54 of Rochester, served in the Army for 35 years and was an experienced flight instructor. Daniel Prial, 30 of Rochester, was an Army captain who graduated from West Point Academy. Christian Koch, 39 of Honeoye Falls, served the National Guard for 20 years and was a pilot with the New York State Police aviation unit.

The New York Army National Guard said crew error was the cause of the crash. Because of the crash, the specific maneuver that the National Guard members used is being taught only on flight simulators.