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NEWS | Feb. 17, 2022

Nebraska Guard assists with civilian airplane emergency

By Maj. Scott Ingalsbe, Joint Force Headquarters - Nebraska National Guard

LINCOLN, Neb. - A Nebraska Army National Guard crew flying a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter on a nighttime training flight responded immediately to assist civilians who notified air traffic control they would not be able to reach the airport to land their small airplane Feb. 10.

“We heard the distress call come over the tower frequency saying that an aircraft had lost its engine and needed a field to land in,” said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Russell Kuhlman, pilot of the UH-60.

“We are a medevac aircraft with night vision equipment, so we were in a position to help in several ways: by locating the aircraft on the ground, bringing our paramedic and relaying the exact location to first responders who would be trying to find their way to the site in the dark,” Kuhlman said.

The Guardsmen located the airplane in a cornfield east of Lincoln, not far from its last known radar location, and noticed it was equipped with a parachute system that had deployed.

The Black Hawk landed nearby. Sgt. Alex Webster, a flight medic assigned to Golf Company, 2-104th General Support Aviation Battalion, checked on the two people with the airplane and found that neither appeared to have serious injuries.

After a state trooper and a ground ambulance arrived, the Guard helicopter crew took off and returned to the Army Aviation Support Facility at the Lincoln Airport.