25th anniversary of the Black Hawk accident

Army soldiers past and present of those killed and several personnel injured in the 1996 Black Hawk helicopter training accident for a commemorative service in Townsville to mark the accident’s 25th anniversary. Photo: Trapper Lisa Sherman

25th anniversary of the Black Hawk accident

The Australian Army’s 5th Aviation Regiment has commemorated the 25th anniversary of the 1996 Black Hawk accident in Townsville, with a service at The Palmetum in Townsville, including a helicopter formation flypast.

During training for counter-terrorism operations on the night of June 12, 1996, two Australian Army Black Hawk helicopters collided in the Townsville Field Training Area. 

As a result of the accident, there were 18 fatalities in total; 15 from the Special Air Service Regiment and three from the 5th Aviation Regiment. 

At the service, Chief of Army Lieutenant General Rick Burr acknowledged those who lost their lives and were injured, their families, and the brave efforts of those who responded to the accident.

“Today we remember our fallen who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of their country and those who still live with the injuries from that day,” Lieutenant General Burr said.

“We recall the sadness and shock we felt when we heard about the accident at Fire Support Base Barbara in the Townsville Field Training Area on June 12, 1996.

“We must not forget heroic acts undertaken by personnel at the scene, who despite the confusion, acted bravely and quickly to evacuate the injured.” 

Lieutenant General Burr said the professionalism of ADF personnel, Townsville General Hospital staff and Queensland Emergency Services prevented any further loss of life.


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