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USAF C-17 crashes in Alaska

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from CNN
http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/07/29/alaska.plane.crash/index.html?hpt=P1&iref=NS1

An Air Force C-17 cargo plane crashed on a local training mission near Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska on Wednesday, a captain at the base told CNN.

The aircraft, assigned to the 3rd Wing at the base, crashed about 6:14 p.m. local time, Capt. Uriah Orland said.

Four crewmembers were on board. Their conditions are unknown at this time, he said.

First responders are on scene, and a board of officers will investigate the accident.

More information will be released as it becomes available, Orland said.

Hope all of the crew made it out unharmed.
 
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from The Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/29/AR2010072900521.html

ELMENDORF AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska -- A board of military officers plans to investigate a plane crash that witnesses say sent a fireball rising hundreds of feet over an Air Force base near downtown Anchorage.

The plane was on a local training run Wednesday when it crashed with four people onboard at Elmendorf Air Force Base, authorities said. They gave no immediate word on casualties.

At a press conference Wednesday night, Lt. Gen. Dana Atkins said the C-17 was not an ejection aircraft and it was "likely nobody escaped," but he added that he had no personal information on whether there were any fatalaties.

"It's likely there are fatalities involved in this mishap," he said Wednesday night.

Access routes to the site, which was not on a runway, were closed after the 6:14 p.m. crash.

The plane was from the 3rd Wing, based at Elmendorf, and the crash happened during a training demonstration for an upcoming weekend air show, Atkins said.

Anchorage Fire Dept. Captain Bryan Grella said his crew was just finishing dinner at about 6:30 p.m. at the downtown fire station when something caught his eye.

"It was a big, gray plume of smoke, and I saw a fireball go up in it," he said.

The fireball extended about 750 feet in the air. He estimated the plume to be about two miles from downtown.

The crash is the third airplane incident in Anchorage this summer. In June, one child was killed and four others burned when a small plane crashed after taking off from the city's small-airplane airport in downtown Anchorage.

Days later, a small plane landed on the busy Glenn Highway, the only highway leading north out of Anchorage. There were no injuries in the latter mishap.

Gov. Sean Parnell and Sen. Mark Begich issued statements late Wednesday expressing sadness over the crash and sending well-wishes to members of the military.

"Alaskans are very connected to the military, and our thoughts and prayers are with Alaska's Air Force family," Parnell said.

PH2010072900523.jpg


Another picture, this one from NYC Aviation
http://nycaviation.com/2010/07/28/c-17-cargo-plane-crashes-at-elmendorf-air-force-base-in-alaska/

c17-620.jpg

 

mover1

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no one made it out.
One of them was my friend.  With whom I did my initial C-17 loadmaster course with in Altus back in 08. We kept in contact ever since. He will be missed.
He loved Guiness  and to him I raise a glass.
RIP Tom.
 

Nfld Sapper

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mover1 said:
no one made it out.
One of them was my friend.  With whom I did my initial C-17 loadmaster course with in Altus back in 08. We kept in contact ever since. He will be missed.
He loved Guiness  and to him I raise a glass.
RIP Tom.
Raised a few pints at the WO and Sgt's mess.....
 

WingsofFury

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Airmen killed in Alaska plane crash identified
By the CNN Wire Staff
July 30, 2010 5:14 p.m. EDT

(CNN) -- The Air Force has identified four airmen who died Wednesday when a cargo plane crashed during a training mission near Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska.

Majors Michael Freyholtz and Aaron Malone, pilots assigned to the Alaska Air National Guard's 249th Airlift Squadron; Capt. Jeffrey Hill, a pilot assigned to Elmendorf's 517th Airlift Squadron; and Master Sgt. Thomas Cicardo, a 249th Airlift Squadron loadmaster, were on board the plane.

Their C-17 aircraft, assigned to the 3rd Wing at the base, crashed about 6:14 p.m. Wednesday, Air Force Capt. Uriah Orland said.

"We come to work with immense sorrow after four of our fellow airmen lost their lives in the C-17 crash," Brig. Gen. Charles E. "Chuck" Foster, 176th Wing commander in the Alaska Air National Guard, said in a written statement Friday. "They were more than valued airmen: They were our teammates, friends, family members and fellow Alaskans. We mourn their loss and share the deep sadness of their families."

Air Force Lt. Gen. Dana Atkins confirmed the C-17 was a part of a demonstration practice for the 2010 Arctic Thunder air show this weekend. On Thursday, officials announced the air show will proceed.

"We do this to both honor the loss of our four airmen and also to pay respect to all service members who make the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms," said Col. John McMullen, 3rd Wing commander at Elmendorf. "We hope our friends and neighbors throughout Alaska will come out and join us."

Gov. Sean Parnell issued a statement Wednesday expressing his sympathy for the crash victims.

"Alaskans are very connected to the military and our thoughts and prayers are with Alaska's Air Force family," Parnell said.

A stress management team was dispatched to the base to help anyone who may have suffered trauma as a result of the crash. A board of officers will investigate the accident, Orland said.

John Pennell, a spokesman for Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, said Thursday he expects a lengthy investigation.

"We've got a bunch of investigators that are combing the accident site," he said. "It will take a while."

CNN's Lauren Russell and Holly Yan contributed to this report.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/07/30/alaska.plane.crash/
 

mover1

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http://www.dmva.alaska.gov/Sitka43.htm

Major Aaron W. Malone
       
249th Airlift Squadron
Alaska Air National Guard

The 249th Airlift Squadron of the Alaska Air National Guard mourns the loss of one of the Air Force’s premier C-17 Pilots, Major Aaron “Zippy” Malone.

Major Malone served his country with distinction for more than 12 years in the Air National Guard. He received his commission as a Second Lieutenant from the Academy of Military Science in April 1998 and graduated from Undergraduate Pilot Training at Vance Air Force Base in August 1999 with his Air Force pilot wings.

He was initially assigned to the Iowa Air National Guard, but later transferred to the 186th Fighter Squadron, Montana Air National Guard, where he flew the F-16 “Fighting Falcon”. During his tenure with the Montana Air National Guard, he flew air sovereignty missions in the 9/11 aftermath for Operation NOBLE EAGLE and deployed to the Korean Peninsula.

With Alaska being his home, Major Malone transferred into the Alaska Air National Guard in 2008, when they started to fly the C-17 “Globemaster III” aircraft. Major Malone took an extended military leave of absence from his civilian employer, Alaska Airlines, to help stand-up the new 249th Airlift Squadron. Major Malone was a highly gifted pilot and rapidly upgraded to Instructor Pilot in the C-17.

Major Malone was a Senior Pilot with more than 2100 military flying hours in the T-37, T-38, F-16 and C-17 aircraft. He routinely flew combat missions in support of Operations ENDURING FREDOOM and IRAQI FREDOOM in the C-17 aircraft.

Major Malone’s home town of record is Anchorage, Alaska.
Major Michael H. Freyholtz       
249th Airlift Squadron
Alaska Air National Guard

The 249th Airlift Squadron of the Alaska Air National Guard mourns the passing of one the Air Force’s premier C-17 Pilots, Major Michael H. Freyholtz.

Major Freyholtz joined the United States Air Force in May of 1998 and received his officer commission through the Reserve Officer Training Corp program. He attended Undergraduate Pilot Training at Vance Air Force, where he received his Air Force pilot wings in May of 2000.

Major Freyholtz was selected to fly the C-17 “Globemaster III” out of pilot training and attended initial C-17 qualification training at Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma. While on active duty, he was stationed at Charleston Air Force Base and McChord Air Force Base as a C-17 Aircraft Commander, Instructor Pilot and Flight Examiner.

Major Freyholtz left active duty to move to Alaska and join the Alaska Air National Guard in May of 2007. He was the first outside pilot hired for the new 249th Airlift Squadron and was highly instrumental in its stand up. Initially, he served in a Drill Status Guardsmen capacity and worked for Boeing as a full-time C-17 simulator instructor. Later, he became a full-time Technician in the 249th Airlift Squadron and led its standardization/evaluation section. He was a very highly regarded C-17 Pilot and the unit’s first C-17 Flight Examiner Pilot and Air Show Demonstration Pilot. Most recently, he accompanied the United States Air Force Thunderbirds throughout the Pacific and demonstrated the capabilities of the C-17 to thousands of air show spectators.

Major Freyholtz accumulated more than 3500 military flying hours in the T-37, T-1 and C-17 aircraft. He flew 608 combat hours in support of Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI FREEDOM for which he received the Air Medal.

Major Freyholtz's home town of record is Hines, Minnesota.
Captain Jeffrey A. Hill
517th Airlift Squadron
U.S. Air Force

The 517th Airlift Squadron mourns the passing of an outstanding professional Airman, Captain Jeffrey A. Hill.

Captain Jeffrey Hill was a C-17A Instructor Pilot and Operations Flight Commander, 517th Airlift Squadron, Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska. Jeff began his military career in 1998 as an enlisted aircraft maintainer in the 12th Fighter Squadron, Elmendorf AFB. He was a phenomenal Airman and he loved being an Airman in Alaska’s 3rd Wing.

After earning his commission in December 2002, he attended pilot training at Columbus AFB, MS. A gifted aviator, he remained in Mississippi as a T-1 instructor pilot to train the next generation of Air Force pilots.

In 2007, Jeff’s dream became reality and he was assigned to stand up the new C-17A squadron in Alaska. Jeff was custom made for the challenging environment. He absolutely loved the outdoors. He was always traveling off-road, hunting and fishing, camping and hiking. His assignment to the 517th was the kind of challenge he thrived on.

As a new C-17A pilot, with T-1 instructor experience, he accelerated through challenging training programs and leadership roles to ultimately become the Operations Flight Commander and instructor in the tactical airlift mission. He was an amazing flight commander who took on additional squadron leadership roles.

He reinvigorated the booster club and motivated young airmen to get and stay fit. He spent countless time, mentoring younger Airman to give back what the 12th leadership had given him. Jeff’s trademark was a positive attitude. His happiness and smile were infectious. Each problem was fun, each discussion was full of humor and walking away without gut laugh was rare.

His perfectly cheerful demeanor was essential to his new squadron. His laugh and sense of humor is missed at home and work. Those in our small, yet global Air Force are lost with words for the void created at his loss. We loved Jeff and his character and happy example will be remembered forever.

Captain Hill's home town of record is York, Pennsylvania.
Master Sergeant Thomas E. Cicardo
249th Airlift Squadron
Alaska Air National Guard

The 249th Airlift Squadron of the Alaska Air National Guard mourns the passing of one the Air Force’s premier Loadmasters, Master Sergeant Thomas E. Cicardo.

Sergeant Cicardo served his country with high distinction for more than 28 years in the Armed Forces of the United States. Prior to joining the Alaska Air National Guard, Sergeant Cicardo served in the US Marine Corp, US Army, and the Air Force Reserve. He joined the Alaska Air National Guard in September of 1997, where his wide ranging military background made him an invaluable asset.

He spent his first eleven years in the Alaska Air National Guard in the 210th and 211th Rescue Squadrons, where he flew the HC-130 aircraft. During his tenure in rescue, he prosecuted 58 Search and Rescue missions in the State of Alaska, in which he was credited with saving 66 lives and assisting 13 others to safety. He deployed multiple times in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, flying combat search and rescue missions in Afghanistan and personnel recovery missions in the Horn of Africa.

In 2008, Sergeant Cicardo was handpicked to be part of the C-17 initial cadre to stand-up the 249th Airlift Squadron. Sergeant Cicardo checked out in the C-17 “Globemaster III” aircraft and quickly upgraded to Instructor and Flight Examiner Loadmaster. He helped build the training and standardization/evaluation functions in the squadron. His efforts were instrumental in the squadron receiving an “Outstanding” rating during a recent Pacific Air Force’s Standardization and Evaluation inspection, where was recognized as an “Outstanding Performer”.

Over the course of his military career, Sergeant Cicardo accumulated 5400 flying hours in the C-141, C-130, HC-130 and C-17 aircraft and visited countless countries. He was a highly decorated combat veteran receiving more than 30 awards and decorations, to include the Afghanistan Campaign medal, the Air Medal, and the Meritorious Service Medal.

Sergeant Cicardo's home town of record is Anchorage, Alaska.







Our immediate focus continues to be the families of our fallen aviators and we will provide more information as it becomes available.
 

tomahawk6

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Pilot error.

Video:

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=b3f_1292113470


Air Force releases findings on Alaska C-17 fatal mishap

by Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs

12/10/2010 - JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii -- Headquarters Pacific Air Forces today released the results of its investigation into a fatal C-17 Globemaster III aircraft mishap July 28, 2010, at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.

Gen. Gary North, Pacific Air Forces commander, directed an investigation into the incident which resulted in the deaths of the four crewmembers aboard, the destruction of the $184 million aircraft, and damage to part of the Alaska Railroad.

The accident investigation board found clear and convincing evidence the cause of the mishap was pilot error. The investigation revealed the pilot placed the aircraft outside established flight parameters and capabilities. During the mishap sortie, the pilot aggressively flew the aircraft in a manner inconsistent with established flight procedures, resulting in a stall. The pilot failed to take required stall recovery actions. Furthermore, the board concluded the co-pilot and safety observer failed to recognize or address the developing dangerous situation. As a result, the C-17 stalled at an attitude and altitude from which recovery to controlled flight was impossible.

Brig. Gen. Carlton D. Everhart II, served as the Accident Investigation Board president. General Everhart is vice commander of the 618th Air and Space Operations Center at Scott Air Force Base, Ill. The general is a command pilot with more than 4,400 flight hours in a variety of aircraft, including the C-17.

The mishap occurred as the C-17 -- tail number 00-0173 and call sign Sitka 43 -- practiced for the Arctic Thunder Air Show scheduled for the weekend of July 31 at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

The footage has been edited to cut off just prior to the aircraft's impact, out of consideration and respect for the families of the deceased.

USAF Aircraft Accident Investigation Board Report Executive Summary for Incident of 28 July 2010:
 

tomahawk6

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Agreed.

http://www.adn.com/2010/12/10/1598594/pilot-error-blamed-in-july-c-17.html

A pilot's overly aggressive aerial acrobatics and overconfidence were blamed in an investigative report for a C-17 plane crash at an Anchorage military base that killed all four airmen on board. Besides pilot error, the crew on board was also faulted for failing to notice the dangerous situation that culminated with the plane stalling and crashing into woods July 28 at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

"The mishap pilot violated regulatory provisions and multiple flight manual procedures, placing the aircraft outside established flight parameters at an attitude and altitude where recovery was not possible," the report's executive summary says.

Bob Hall, a base spokesman, said Friday evening he didn't know which of the three pilots was at the controls when the massive $184 million plane crashed during a training demonstration for an air show. A Pacific Air Forces spokeswoman said the pilot's identity would not be disclosed out of sensitivity to the families.

"Who sat where in the plane is not being released," said Capt. Alysia Harvey.

Pacific Air Forces, based at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii, released the results of its investigation Friday evening.

The probe "found clear and convincing evidence the cause of the mishap was pilot error," the report says. It also found evidence that other factors including overconfidence and misplaced motivation contributed to the crash.

"Furthermore, the mishap co-pilot and mishap safety observer did not realize the developing dangerous situation and failed to make appropriate inputs."

When the stall warning sounded, the co-pilot responded by saying "temperature, altitude lookin' good," according to the report.

The investigation also found evidence that the flight deck crew ignored warnings.

According to investigators -- and video prior to the crash -- the pilot made an aggressive right turn after the C-17's initial climb-out and left turn. The stall-warning system was activated as the plane banked, but the pilot continued the turn and there was no way to avoid a stall.

"Although the pilot eventually attempted to recover the aircraft, he employed incorrect procedures, and there was not sufficient altitude to regain controlled flight," the report says.

The C-17 crashed into a wooded area about a minute after taking off, sending a fireball hundreds of feet into the air and damaging a section of the Alaska Railroad's main track.

Killed were Maj. Michael Freyholtz, 34, of Hines, Minn.; Maj. Aaron Malone, 36, of Anchorage; Capt. Jeffrey Hill, 31, of York, Pa.; and Master Sgt. Thomas Cicardo, 47, of Anchorage. Cicardo, who was not a pilot, was posthumously promoted to senior master sergeant Friday.

Freyholtz and Malone were pilots assigned to the Alaska Air National Guard's 249th Airlift Squadron. Hill was a pilot assigned to Elmendorf's 517th Airlift Squadron, and Cicardo was the 249th Airlift Squadron loadmaster and affiliated with the Alaska National Guard.

No one on the ground was hurt.

The long-range C-17 can carry up to 80 tons of large equipment, supplies and troops around the world. It is longer and wider than half a football field.
 
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