Investigation reveals cause of Moody helicopter crash - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Investigation reveals cause of Moody helicopter crash

The chopper that crashed was similar to the one shown here. The chopper that crashed was similar to the one shown here.

July 3, 2003

Lowndes County - Air Force investigators say poor weather, lighting, and altitude contributed to a Moody helicopter crash back in March.

The HH-60-G Pavehawk helicopter crashed on a rescue mission in Afghanistan, killing all six crew members.

The report states that the plane was refueling right before the crash, and was flying at an altitude 150 feet below the required 500 feet. Limited light also reduced the effectiveness of night vision goggles, which caused spatial disorientation and a loss of situation awareness. Cloudy conditions may have also contributed to the crash.

All of the crew members died on impact. "We know they were killed instantly because there was no evidence in their lungs that they inhaled any smoke," said Brigadier General Gregory Power.

A coroner's report showed that one of the pilot's heart arteries was 95 percent blocked, but they were unable to determine whether he was having chest pains or a heart attack at the time of the crash.

Although there was a small fire when the plane crashed, none of the crew members were burned. They were all ejected from the cockpit at the time of impact.

posted at 3:55PM by ashley.harper@walb.com

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