ad info




CNN.com
 MAIN PAGE
 WORLD
 ASIANOW
 U.S.
 LOCAL
 POLITICS
 WEATHER
 BUSINESS
 SPORTS
 TECHNOLOGY
 NATURE
 ENTERTAINMENT
 BOOKS
 TRAVEL
 FOOD
 HEALTH
 STYLE
 IN-DEPTH

 Headline News brief
 daily almanac
 CNN networks
 CNN programs
 on-air transcripts
 news quiz

  CNN WEB SITES:
CNN Websites
 TIME INC. SITES:
 MORE SERVICES:
 video on demand
 video archive
 audio on demand
 news email services
 free email accounts
 desktop headlines
 pointcast
 pagenet

 DISCUSSION:
 message boards
 chat
 feedback

 SITE GUIDES:
 help
 contents
 search

 FASTER ACCESS:
 europe
 japan

 WEB SERVICES:
US

One Apache crash blamed on pilot error, other on malfunction

apache
An AH-64 Apache attack helicopter

RELATED VIDEO
CNN's Jamie McIntyre explains animations of how the accidents apparently occurred (May 13)
Windows Media 28K 80K
 

May 13, 1999
Web posted at: 10:48 a.m. EDT (1448 GMT)


In this story:

Unknown mechanical problem

Apaches may see action soon

RELATED STORIES, SITES icon



WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Pentagon sources said Wednesday that two crashes of U.S. Army AH-64 Apache attack helicopters in Albania had different causes: pilot error in one case, mechanical malfunction in the other.

The first crash occurred the night of April 26 about 40 miles northwest of Tirana, Albania, where the crews of 24 Apaches are training to join NATO's attacks on Yugoslavia.

In that accident, the sources said, the pilot tried to land the heavily laden helicopter in air that was too thin.

The helicopter was fully loaded with fuel and weapons when it was attempting to land. Investigators believe it hit a pocket of light air and that caused the aircraft to hit the ground too hard.

The two-man crew was pulled to safety before the helicopter burst into flames.

Pentagon officials said the helicopter probably should have burned more fuel before attempting the landing maneuver.

Unknown mechanical problem

In the second accident, on May 5, Pentagon sources said a mechanical malfunction likely caused the deaths of two Army pilots: Chief Warrant Officer 3 David Gibbs and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Kevin Reichert.

Sources said the Apache they were flying suddenly did a 360-degree roll, indicating something went wrong with its stabilizing mechanism.

The exact nature of the malfunction has not been determined.

Neither of the helicopters hit obstacles and the use of night-vision equipment was not a factor in the crashes, the sources said.

Early reports had indicated the helicopters may have hit trees or power lines, or that their field of vision may have been limited by the use of night-vision goggles.

Apaches may see action soon

U.S. Defense Secretary William Cohen said the two crashes will not affect the planned use of the attack helicopters and their crews.

"It's a very tough mission that they're being asked to perform," Cohen said, adding that it "requires great skill and a full training measure before they're actually employed."

Meanwhile, there are hints the Apaches may see action in Yugoslavia soon.

NATO spokesman Jamie Shea said Wednesday that the training of the Apache pilots in Albania is "almost completed," and a Pentagon official told CNN the pilots are "trained and ready."

Military Affairs Correspondent Jamie McIntyre contributed to this report.



RELATED STORIES:
U.S. helicopter crew killed in crash in Albania
May 6, 1999
Kosovo peacekeeping mission may expand before it begins
May 6, 1999
Kosovo Albanian leader Rugova in Rome for talks
May 6, 1999
U.N. official: Refugees won't return without armed force
May 6, 1999
U.S.: Serbs destroying bodies of Kosovo victims
May 6, 1999
Rabbi in Jackson delegation: 'We took a chance for peace'
May 6, 1999
Jackson renews call for bombing pause, negotiations
May 6, 1999

RELATED SITES:
Extensive list of Kosovo-related sites:
  • Kosovo

Yugoslavia:
  • Federal Republic of Yugoslavia official site
      • Kesovo and Metohija facts
  • Serbia Ministry of Information
  • Serbia Now! News

Kosovo:
  • Kosova Crisis Center
  • Kosova Liberation Peace Movement
  • Kosovo - from Albanian.com

Military:
  • F-117s arrive at Aviano to support possible NATO operations
  • NATO official site
  • BosniaLINK - U.S. Dept. of Defense
  • U.S. Navy images from Operation Allied Force
  • U.K. Ministry of Defence - Kosovo news
  • U.K. Royal Air Force - Kosovo news
  • Jane's Defence - Kosovo Crisis


Relief:
  • U.S. Agency for International Development (Kosovo aid)
  • Doctors of the World
  • InterAction
  • International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
  • International Committee of the Red Cross
  • Kosovo Humanitarian Disaster Forces Hundreds of Thousands from their Homes
  • Catholic Relief Services
  • Kosovo Relief
  • ReliefWeb: Home page
  • The Jewish Agency for Israel
  • Mercy International


Media:
  • Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty
  • Independent Yugoslav radio stations B92
  • Institute for War and Peace Reporting
  • United States Information Agency - Kosovo Crisis

Other:
  • Expanded list of related sites on Kosovo
  • 1997 view of Kosovo from space - Eurimage
Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.

 LATEST HEADLINES:
SEARCH CNN.com
Enter keyword(s)   go    help

Back to the top   © 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.