Corpus Christi, TX Navy Helicopter Crash, Oct 1985
THREE SERVICEMEN KILLED IN NAVY HELICOPTER CRASH.
Corpus Christi (AP) - A Navy helicopter that crashed on a training mission, killing three crew members, appeared to be making practice dives along with another chopper when it hit a marsh, witnesses said.
Rick Andrews and his wife, Linda, of nearby Port Aransas were on their way home about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday when they saw two helicopters practicing diving maneuvers about one-half mile off Texas Highway 53.
Moments later, Andrews said, his wife yelled, "Oh my God. He crashed!"
Three other Navy crew members were injured in the crash of the UH-1N helicopter on Mustang Island, between Corpus Christi and Port Aransas, a spokesman for the Corpus Christi Naval Air Station said.
Ensign Terry Reese, public affairs officer for the Naval station, said identities of the dead and injured would be released today.
Petty Officer Gwen Newman said the three survivors were taken to the base hospital, but she did not know the extent of their injuries.
The UN-1N is used for search and rescue missions.
The helicopters were on routine maneuvers at the time of the crash, Reese said. Officials had no statement to release concerning the cause for the accident.
Mrs. Andrews said it appeared that, just before the crash, the rotor of one of the helicopters had stopped.
"The blades weren't blurry. I could see them very clearly and they didn't seem to be moving," she said.
She said she saw the helicopter hit the marsh and "go into pieces."
The other helicopter circled the fallen one briefly, then landed and two crew members began helping the survivors, Andrews said.
He sped to a telephone, called authorities, and dropped off his wife, he said. Then he and a friend returned to help the injured.
Pieces of the helicopter were scattered about 60 feet from the crash, Andrews said. Bodies of the three men were left where they were, he said.
"We were administering a little bit of shock aid. The guy we were taking care of was complaining about a shoulder injury. We were just trying to keep the guy calmed down," Andrews said.
"I asked him how it happened and he said he didn't know."
New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung Texas
Listing of the Killed and Injured.
Lt. Cmdr. DAVID LEE WRIGHT, 44.
Lt. SAM MICHAEL SAVAS, III, 27.
Aviation Machinist DAVID SELTON, 32.
Mechanic WILLIAM DANIEL SWEENEY, 21.
Electrician LEO RICHARD KOVALESKI, 29.
Hospital Corpsman EDWARD FRANCIS STARCESKI, 26.