Pilot error likely caused a fatal crash in which an Army helicopter struck high-voltage power lines in South Korea, said a report released by the Army Combat Readiness Center.
Chief warrant officers Jason McCormack, 43, of Maryland, and Brandon Smith, 38, of Grand Junction, Colo., were killed when their AH-64D Apache attack helicopter crashed 50 miles east of Camp Humphreys on Nov. 23, 2015.
The pair were conducting annual training when the Apache struck power lines nearly 400 feet above the ground, said the report, which was recently released to Stars and Stripes.
“Entanglement of the rotor in power lines likely slowed the main rotor and prevented further flight,” it said.
The aircraft — assigned to 4th Aerial Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Aviation Regiment, 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division — broke apart in flight and caught fire after the crash, the report said.
Both pilots were killed when an AH-64 Apache attack helicopter with the 2nd Infantry Division crashed during a routine training mission in South Korea in November 2015.U.S. Army via Stars & Stripes
The pilot and co-pilot sustained massive trauma and burns in the accident, which the report said “was not survivable.” A post-crash evaluation of the Apache’s structural and mechanical components failed to reveal defects that may have caused or contributed to the incident.
“The helicopter most likely succumbed to human factors while transitioning between training areas using terrain flight modes during marginal and erratic weather conditions and attempting to negotiate a known wire hazard,” it said.
McCormack and Smith were experienced aviators with deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, and there was no evidence of medical issues that could have contributed to the crash, the report said.
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
Retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Charles Kettles was awarded the Medal of Honor July 18, 2016, for his actions while serving as a Flight Commander assigned to the 176th Aviation Company (Airmobile) (Light), 14th Combat Aviation Battalion, Americal Division. Then-Maj. Kettles distinguished himself in combat operations near Duc Pho, Republic of Vietnam, on May 15, 1967. (U.S. Army/Spc. Tammy Nooner)
by Martin Slagter, The Ann Arbor News, Mich.
YPSILANTI, MI - When a brigade of U.S. troops was ambushed by the North Vietnamese Army in the Song Tra Cau riverbed on the morning of May 15, 1967, Lt. Charles Kettles volunteered to lead the rescue, and he refused, again and again, to back down when faced with a barrage of gunfire.
His aircraft badly damaged, left spilling fuel, and his gunner was severely injured during the treacherous operation.
But he helicoptered in and out of the battlefield four times, saving the lives of 44 soldiers in a death-defying emergency operation that would become a legendary tale of bravery in the Vietnam War.
The M160 Robotic Mine Flail at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. Photo: Maj. Dan Marchik/U.S. Army
The battlefield of the future could feature robot medics delivering life-saving care to casualties in the line of fire. At least, that's what the Army is aiming for — and it's willing to pay millions for help doing it.
A Chinese tank rolls at the training ground "Tsugol", about 250 kilometers (156 miles ) south-east of the city of Chita during the military exercises Vostok 2018 in Eastern Siberia, Russia, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018 (Associated Press/Sergei Grits)
China is developing a lot of new and advanced weaponry, but a recent state media report suggests the Chinese military may not be entirely sure what to do with these new combat systems.
The commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard called the ongoing partial government shutdown "unacceptable" following reports that some Coast Guardsmen are relying on donations from food pantries while their regular paychecks remain on hold.
"We're five-plus weeks into the anxiety and stress of this government lapse and your non-pay," Adm. Karl Schultz said in a video message to service members. "You, as members of the armed forces, should not be expected to shoulder this burden."