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Fri, Apr 18, 2008

Investigators Determine Loss Of Control Led To UH-60 Downing

Helo Crashed During November 8 Joint Training Mission In Italy

A US Army investigation into the downing of a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter in Italy last November has determined a mechanical problem, and not pilot error, led to the crash.

As ANN reported, four USAF airmen and two soldiers were killed when the helicopter went down in an uninhabited area near Santa Lucia di Piave during a training mission from Aviano. The mission was also intended to give Airmen the opportunity to gain a better understanding of joint operations, and to perform a reenlistment ceremony.

Killed in the accident were Capt. Cartize B. Durham, Staff Sgt. Robert D. Rogers, Staff Sgt. Mark A. Spence and Senior Airman Kenneth P. Hauprich Jr. of the Air Force; and Capt. Christian P. Skoglund and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Davidangelo F. Alvarez of the Army. Five other servicemembers survived the accident, reports Army Times.

According to the Army's report, a loss of yaw control led to the accident. About 22 miles south of Aviano, the Black Hawk "began a slow, nose low, left-pedal turn. Upon initiation of the turn, the aircraft began a diving spin to the left from which the crew could not recover," the report states. "The aircraft subsequently crashed into the Piave riverbed."

Investigators were unable to determine what led to the loss of yaw control, but they found no evidence of pilot error, or any environmental factors that may have contributed to the crash.

FMI: www.army.mil

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