Wed, Aug 31, 2005
The Air Force has
completed its investigation of the HH-60G Pave Hawk accident on May
11th, 2005, near Angel Fire, N.M., which resulted in the death of
an Air Force flight engineer.
The accident investigation determined the primary cause of the
mishap to be pilot error. Other factors included unfavorable
weather conditions and general complacency of the flight crew both
in planning and executing the mission.
The helicopter crew, assigned to the 58th Special Operations
Wing at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., consisted of Maj. Larry
Ouellette, pilot; Capt. John De Sir, co-pilot; and Tech. Sgt. Scott
Bobbitt, flight engineer. The crew was conducting an instructor
proficiency training sortie flight.
Major Ouellette maneuvered the helicopter into a turn at the
Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Angel Fire to allow the flight
engineer to view a helicopter on display at the memorial. However,
the pilot failed to maintain sufficient altitude above terrain and
lost control of the aircraft. The helicopter crashed into a small
knoll on the memorial's property.
The flight engineer was ejected from the main cabin and fatally
injured. The pilot and co-pilot were treated for minor injuries at
a local hospital and released the same day. The aircraft was
destroyed by the impact and subsequent fire.
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