Downed National Guard plane was on final flight
by Leigh Jones
Posted 5/03/18, 10:10 am
UPDATE: The National Guard C-130 cargo plane that crashed in Savannah, Ga., yesterday was headed for retirement in Arizona. Officials confirmed late Wednesday that all nine guardsmen on board died. The 40-year-old plane, one of six belonging to Puerto Rico’s National Guard fleet, flew to Georgia for routine maintenance last month. Its Puerto Rican crew was taking it on its final flight when it crashed 21 minutes after taking off from the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport. A spokesman for the Georgia Air National Guard said the military has launched an investigation to figure out what caused the crash. He told reporters he didn’t know whether the crew made a distress call before the plane went down. The aircraft most recently helped evacuate victims of Hurricane Irma in the British Virgin Islands and delivered food and water to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.
UPDATE (5/02/18, 2:30 p.m.): At least five people died when a National Guard C-130 cargo plane crashed near Savannah, Ga., on Wednesday, a Georgia Air National Guard spokesman confirmed. Capt. Jeff Bezore of the Georgia Air National Guard’s 165th Airlift Wing said he did not know how many people were on board the plane when it crashed. It’s also not clear whether any of the victims were on the ground when the plane came down at an intersection near the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport.
OUR EARLIER REPORT (5/02/18, 2 p.m.): Two people died Wednesday when a National Guard C-130 cargo plane crashed in Savannah, Ga. Authorities did not immediately provide information about the victims. The plane belonged to the 156th Airlift Wing out of Puerto Rico and crashed near the intersection of two roads close to the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport. Officials did not provide any information about where and when the plane took off or where it was headed. Members of the 165th Airlift Wing out of Savannah responded to the crash.
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Leigh is acting managing editor for WORLD Radio. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate who spent six years as a newspaper reporter in Texas before joining WORLD. Leigh also co-wrote Infinite Monster: Courage, Hope, and Resurrection in the Face of One of America's Largest Hurricanes. She resides with her husband and daughter in Houston, Texas.