Honolulu, HI (Northeast 500 miles) Helicopter Crash, Jan 1985
HELICOPTER CRASH WILL BE STUDIED.
CREW WAS TRYING TO RESCUE SAILOR.
Honolulu (AP) -- The Air Force said Wednesday it would set up a panel to investigate the fiery crash of a helicopter that killed six men and left a seventh missing and presumed dead during an attempt to evacuate a sick sailor from a cargo ship.
The HH-53 helicopter crashed into the deck of the 620-foot Panamanian-registered Asian Beauty on Tuesday about 540 nautical miles northeast of Honolulu.
Two bodies were returned to Honolulu by a second helicopter that had accompanied the one that crashed. The four others were to be transferred to the Coast Guard cutter Munro, but the plan was called off because of the condition of the bodies, said Coast Guard spokesman Brice Kenney.
The crash set off a fire aboard the ship that burned out of control for an hour, said Coast Guard spokesman Bob Jones. The wreckage of the helicopter remained strewn across the decks of the Asian Beauty on Wednesday.
"We still don't have any idea (of the crash's cause), the details are sketchy," Air Force spokesman Sgt. Paul Chute said Wednesday.
"A board of officers will convene to investigate the accident."
An Air Force new release said ocean swells at the time of the mishap were 20 feet with 15 knot winds.
The ill sailor, identified as a 27-year-old British man diagnosed as suffering from internal bleeding, was reported in stable condition Wednesday, and was to remain aboard the Asian Beauty until it reached Hawaii, Chute said.
The men aboard the helicopter that crashed were identified as:
Air Force Staff Sgt. JOHN ROBERT GILBERT, 38, of Advance, N.C., a para-rescueman.
Staff Sgt. KYLE DWANE MARSHALL, 34, of Waxahachie, Texas, a flight engineer.
Staff Sgt. DANIEL R. REIHMAN, 29, of Riegelsville, Pa., a flight engineer.
ROBERT A. JERMYN, 24, of York, Pa., a para-rescueman.
Capt. DAVID D. MASON, 30, of Springfield, Mo., aircraft commander.
2nd Lt. RUSSELL H. OHL, 28, of Vista, Calif., co-pilot.
Capt. STEPHEN PINDZOLA, 37, of Dover, Del., the pilot.
The Air Force said it was unclear which was the missing man.
New Mexican Santa Fe New Mexico 1985-01-17