Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Coast Guard officials pin hopes on flight recorders

Editor note; For those of you who track callsigns, the CG C-130 that was lost was CG 1705 per an official USCG message.

And from the Sacramento Bee online website:

U.S. Coast Guard officials say searchers are turning their attention to finding aircraft flight recorder boxes for clues into the cause of the crash Thursday of a Coast Guard search plane and a Marine helicopter over the ocean near San Diego.

Searchers had found no trace of either aircraft's crew as of Monday. The Coast Guard C-130 carried seven; the helicopter, two.

A memorial service is being planned Friday at McClellan Air Park in North Highlands, home base for the rescue plane. Coast Guard officials on Monday said they have not decided whether the memorial will be public or private.

The Coast Guard plane (CG 1705) was on a search and rescue mission in a military training flight, or "Warning Area," called Whiskey 291. The Marine helicopter was one of several helicopters on a training mission in the area.

The flight recorders are in 2,400 feet of water and may be difficult to retrieve, Coast Guard Lt. Josh Nelson said. A Coast Guard-Marine mishap investigation panel has been established to analyze clues for the cause of the crash, Nelson said.

And the heros lost in the tragedy:

Crash related deaths: Aboard USCG 1705:
LCDR Che J. Barnes, aircraft commander (CG Aviator #3436)
LT Adam W. Bryant, co-pilot (CG Aviator #3935)
AMTC John F. Seidman, flight engineer
AET2 Carl P. Grigonis, navigator
AET2 Monica L. Beacham, radio operator
AMT2 Jason S. Moletzsky, air crew
AMT3 Danny R. Kreder II, drop master

Aboard the Marine Corps AH-1W Super Cobra, assigned to Marine Aircraft Group 39 of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing):

Major Samuel Leigh
1st Lt. Thomas Claiborne

Air Station the CG aircraft and/or crew were assigned to: Air Station Sacramento, California

Aircraft type and Coast Guard tail number: Lockheed HC-130H Hercules, 1705*

Location of the incident: About 50 miles off San Diego and 5 miles east of San Clemente Island

Description of the incident: The Coast Guard C-130 1705, with a crew of seven, was involved in a midair collision with a Marine AH-1W Super Cobra helicopter, with a crew of two. The collision occurred around 7 p.m. about 50 miles off the San Diego County coast and 15 miles east of San Clemente Island. The C-130 was engaged in a search for a missing person while the helicopter was involved in a training exercise. The active search for survivors was suspended on Sunday Nov 1, however the search continues for any wreckage that could aid in the investigation into the cause of the accident.