South Fox Island, MI Army Helicopter Crash, July 1983


South Fox Island, Mich. (UPI) -- Six crewmen killed in the crash of their Army CH-47 Chinook helicopter on tiny South Fox Island were making their first night flight over Lake Michigan when they went down, an Army spokesman said.
Maj. Bill Mulvey, division public information officer at Fort Campbell, Ky., said the 101st Airborne Division crew had flown one training session during the day Sunday and was making its first night run over the lake when the helicopter crashed about midnight Sunday.
He said it was not immediately known now long the craft had been in the air.
Mulvey said a three-man team from the U.S. Army Safety Center in Fort Rucker, Ala., would inspect and photograph the accident site in northern Michigan before bodies of the accident victims could be taken to a Coast Guard station at Traverse City for identification.
He said names of the victims would be withheld until investigators made their initial inspection of the scene and victims' families were notified.
Rescue teams from the Army, Coast Guard and the Leelanau County Sheriff's Department found "no indication of survivors" after surveying the wreckage, he said.
The accident occurred in a heavily wooded area of the tiny island about 45 miles northwest of Traverse City.
Another helicopter taking part in the same training session reported the crash and then returned to the Coast Guard base at Traverse City, where the maneuvers had originated, Mulvey said.
There was no indication of radio transmission between the two aircraft before the crash and no record of any emergency radio calls for help from the helicopter, he said. The aircraft was not scheduled to land on the island.
"As I understand it, that portion of South Fox Island is very heavily wooded," Mulvey said. "The other helicopter reported the crash to the Coast Guard in Traverse City and that craft, not being able to land or do anything, returned to Traverse City."
The helicopters and personnel arrived in Traverse City from Fort Campbell Saturday for over-water training sessions.

Altoona Mirror Pennsylvania 1983-07-12