The Ministry of National Defense confirmed on Jan. 2 that a UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter carrying 13 people, including Chief of the General Staff Shen Yi-ming and flight personnel, made a forced landing in New Taipei City's mountainous Wulai District for unknown reasons. The helicopter departed at 7:50 a.m. bound for Lunar New Year activities in Yilan County's Dongao. The ministry said five people have been found with signs of life, and eight are confirmed dead, including Shen.
The chief pilot is Lieutenant Colonel Yeh Chien-i, a 2002 graduate of the Air Force Academy. The co-pilot is Captain Liu Chien-fu, a 2012 graduate of the Air Force Academy. The crew chief is Master Sergeant Hsu Hung-pin. We were carrying out a Lunar New Year visiting the troops itinerary, so in addition to the three flight crew personnel, there were also 10 Ministry of National Defense personnel on board going to boost troop morale. The helicopter took off at 7:54 a.m., as you can all see here. The last communication was at 8:07 a.m. The last blip was recorded at a heading of 328.7 degrees, 17 nautical miles from Chungcheng Naval Base. Contact was lost here. The weather they reported was clouds at 3,000 to 4,000 feet, with excellent visibility.
Shen and the others on board were scheduled to visit with a radar squadron stationed in Dongao. The helicopter departed from Songshan Airbase and was bound for Dongao via Chungcheng Naval Base. It made a forced landing for unknown reasons. Before communications were lost, the flight crew reported normal weather conditions. A task force has already been established to determine the cause of the accident.