Outside The Beltway notes 31 people dying in a U.S. Marine Corps helicopter crash this morning, and muses:

As I’ve noted numerous times, helicopters are dangerous even in a non-hostile environment. They do things fixed wing aircraft can’t but the price is sometimes very high.

Just so, James.  I knew a couple people who died in Buffalo a few years ago driving a chopper, and they said the same thing.

One aditional point, however… This is the biggest single-action casualty count for the entire Iraqi conflict thusfar. Can anyone name any campaign in our history, where that single action death count was less?

I can’t.

Certainly, this doesn’t diminish the weight of the deaths that have occurred, but it does suggest that there is a rather different quality to this conflict.