Pilot error caused Okinawa helicopter crash that killed airman, Air Force says

Base Info
  The U.S. Air Force 31st and 33rd Rescue Squadrons use a HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter to evacuate ‘victims’ during a simulated crash at Camp Hansen, a training area used by the Okinawa squads assigned to Kadena Air Base, Feb. 7, 2013.   Maeson L. Elleman/U.S. Air Force
From Stripes.com
The U.S. Air Force 31st and 33rd Rescue Squadrons use a HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter to evacuate ‘victims’ during a simulated crash at Camp Hansen, a training area used by the Okinawa squads assigned to Kadena Air Base, Feb. 7, 2013. Maeson L. Elleman/U.S. Air Force

Pilot error caused Okinawa helicopter crash that killed airman, Air Force says

by: . | .
Stars and Stripes | .
published: January 21, 2014

Air Force investigators Tuesday determined it was pilot error that caused the August helicopter crash on Okinawa that killed one airman on board.

The HH-60 Pave Hawk crashed during exercises Aug. 5 on Camp Hansen, killing Tech. Sgt. Mark Smith. The other three on board were found soon after the crash in stable condition.

The HH-60 is the Air Force’s version of the Black Hawk helicopter and is used by the 33rd Rescue Squadron. Pave Hawk helicopters were grounded for 12 days for additional inspections and maintenance.

The smoke rising from the crash scene at the time could be seen miles away in the city of Ginoza.

The accident investigation board took place on Kadena Air Base.

Four U.S. airmen were killed when their HH-60G Pavt one Hawk helicopter crashed during low-level flight training near the eastern English coast Jan. 7.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated.

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