The incident occurred on the afternoon of 2 January when the Black Hawk helicopter crashed in the mountains in the north of the island. The tragic incident killed eight of the 13 personnel onboard the aircraft, including former air force Gen. Shen Yi-ming, both pilots, the Deputy Head of the Political Warfare Bureau and the Deputy Chief of the General Staff for Intelligence.
Following the incident, memorial services have been held and Taiwan’s Central News Agency has reported that the country has grounded its fleet of UH-60M aircraft (those belonging to the air force, the army and the National Service Corps) while they are all inspected. According to the Ministry of National Defense, the aircraft that crashed on 2 January was one dedicated to search and rescue missions and had been delivered in 2018.
A formal investigation into the crash is still underway. Posting on Facebook on the day of the incident, President Tsai Ing-wen of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party wrote: “Chief of the General Staff Shen Yi-ming was an outstanding, competent general, as well as a chief loved and esteemed by everyone. His departure has left us with tremendous wistfulness and sorrow.”