Update (1745 EST): Aircraft has been confirmed as Australian.
An ADF helicopter crashed with 4 crew on board during military exercises in the Whitsundays in North Queensland last night as part of Talisman Sabre. No confirmation at this point of any casualties.
— Siobhan Heanue (@siobhanheanue) July 28, 2023
Update (1727 EST): The UK Daily Mail has confirmed that the wreckage has been recovered, but none of the aviators’ bodies. There still has been no confirmation of the type/model/series or nationality.
At approximately 1655 EST, initial reports emerged indicating that a search and rescue operation was underway to locate a military helicopter off the coast of Whitsundays, QLD near Hamilton Island.
Of interest, fellow AC-130J 18-5905 “Jackal 93”, is assisting with a search and rescue operation in the Whitsundays at this time. pic.twitter.com/MDSedRXCNF
— cqplanespotting (@cqplanespotting) July 28, 2023
By 1711 EST, radio traffic confirmed that U.S. and Australian aircraft were being called to assist in the rescue operation. The unnamed missing aircraft was reportedly a helicopter carrying at least four people as part of Operation Talisman Sabre. There has been no word yet on the nationality of the aircraft or crew.
This is developing.
Breaking – major search and rescue underway after a military helicopter crashed just south of Hamilton Island, Queensland, overnight. Initial reports of four persons on-board. @7NewsBrisbane @7NewsAustralia
— Jordan Fabris (@JordanFabriss7) July 28, 2023
Exercise Talisman Sabre (also spelled Talisman Saber, the US English alternative title) is a biennial, multinational military exercise led by Australia and the United States. Talisman Sabre involves joint exercises performed by the Australian Defence Force and the United States Military across six locations in northern and central Australia, the Coral Sea, and in Honolulu, Denver, and Suffolk, Va., though the bulk of the exercises are concentrated at the Shoalwater Bay Military Training Area and other locations in northern and central Australia and Australia’s territorial sea and exclusive economic zone. (Wiki)