Officials Seek Clues in 3 Military Crashes
Kinner, Derek L., The Florida Times Union
The military's recent loss of three aircraft to southeast
Georgia crashes in one week -- all in the same region -- is sure
to grab the attention of top officials, an aviation expert said
yesterday. Especially since Georgia lawmakers in Washington are
U.S. Sen. Max Cleland, D-Ga., said his staff was following the
investigations into the accidents.
"I am always concerned when I learn that military aircraft are
involved in accidents," Cleland, a member of the Senate Armed
Services Committee, said yesterday in a prepared statement.
"I am confident that so far, the military is taking all
necessary steps to ensure that the cause of these accidents is
determined and measures are taken to prevent against them."
Tim Forte, safety officer from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical
University in Daytona Beach, said whenever there are several
accidents in a row, it should raise a lot of flags.
"The local commander for the region has got to say, `What's
going on?' " Forte said.
Three military planes -- two Air Force and one Army -- have
crashed in Southeast Georgia since Wednesday.
Forte, who as a former director of safety for the National
Transportation Safety Board investigated civilian aviation
accidents, said the military has to "see if there are any
commonalities or trends developing. The military is usually good
at investigating, even over-investigating, when there's a hiccup
like that to find out what's going on."
Cleland said because the crashes involved three different types
of aircraft involved, he didn't think there was a common link.
On Wednesday, two crew members on the Army's RC12N spy plane,
based at Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, perished in a crash
on Ossabaw Island near Savannah. …