US Army Europe and Africa confirmed on Thursday that an American UH-60 Black Hawk had made a “precautionary” landing in Bucharest Thursday morning. The helicopter was one of six Black Hawks conducting rehearsals for Romania’s Air Force Day on July 20 when the incident happened.
In a press statement, the US Army said that no injuries have been reported, crediting the safe landing of the Black Hawk to the expertise of the crew and Romanian police officers on the ground. Following the landing of the helicopter in Bucharest’s Charles de Gaulle Square, Romanian police secured the site, and the Army now says that the helicopter has been moved to the side of the roundabout to allow traffic to continue use of the road.
The US Army is now coordinating with Romanian police and local authorities to remove the helicopter from the roundabout, with a joint US-Romanian investigation into the incident underway. Bucharest Military Prosecutor’s Office spokesman Florin Bobin stated to Romania Journal that the office will be investigating the incident on grounds of “non-compliance with legal measures for safety and health at work”.
According to the US Army, the Black Hawk involved was of the 3rd Battalion, 1st Aviation Regiment, 1st Combat Aviation Brigade. The unit in question is currently forward deployed to Romania from Illesheim, Germany, operating in support of Atlantic Resolve.
Amateur video footage obtained by Romanian media outlets earlier on Thursday showed the Black Hawk suddenly losing altitude partway through a formation flight, flying low along the Aviators’ Boulevard before landing. The low flight of the helicopter knocked over two lamp posts, damaging two cars.
Following the incident, Romanian Ministry of National Defense spokesperson Brigadier General Constantin Spinu stated to Digi24 that all aircraft overflights for Air Force Day have been cancelled, as well as for another event commemorating the end of the Romanian armed forces’ deployment to Afghanistan. Ceremonies for Air Force Day will be limited to wreath laying at the Monument to the Heroes of the Air, located in the square.