Coast Guard C-130 And Navy AH-1W Super Cobra Collide Midair





Coast Guard C-130 And Navy AH-1W Super Cobra Collide Midair

By Daniel Baxter (update)
Coast Guard C-130 Hercules

November 1, 2009 - A Coast Guard C-130 Hercules aircraft, from Air Station Sacramento, was engaged in a search and rescue mission when it collided with an AH-1W Super Cobra helicopter, from the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing stationed at the Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, conducting a training mission. 

The Coast Guard, Navy, and Marine Corps are searching for survivors from two military aircraft that collided 15 miles east of San Clemente Island, Calif., Thursday, Oct. 29, 2009, about 7 PM. The Navy reported to the Coast Guard that they observed what appeared to be a mid-air collision. 

Coast Guard crews as well as the Navy have been searching through the night. Visibility in the vicinity of the search area is unlimited allowing for ideal search conditions.

The Coast Guard assets involved in the search are; two MH-60J Jayhawk helicopters and the Cutters Edisto and Petrel, from San Diego, along the Cutter Blackfin which is homeported in Santa Barbara, Calif. 

The Coast Guard is conducting an investigation to determine the cause of the accident. Survivors Unlikely in Midair Crash, Pentagon Official Says. Search efforts continue after two military aircraft collided off the California coast but a Defense Department official said it is unlikely there are survivors among the nine people aboard. "The search is still on, but it's likely taken the lives of nine individuals," said Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman, calling the collision a "tragic event."  

The Coast Guard aircraft from Air Station Sacramento was engaged in a search and rescue mission and the Marine helicopter from the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing stationed at the Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton was conducting a routine training mission at the time of the crash. The Navy reported to the Coast Guard that they observed what appeared to be a midair collision, according to the Coast Guard. Coast Guard and Navy crews searched through the night amid conditions offering unlimited visibility and "ideal search conditions," the Coast Guard reported.  

The Lockheed C-130 Hercules is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft built by Lockheed. Capable of takeoffs and landings from unprepared runways, the C-130 was originally designed as a troop, medical evacuation, and cargo transport aircraft. The versatile airframe has found uses in a variety of other roles, including as a gunship, for airborne assault, search and rescue, scientific research support, weather reconnaissance, aerial refueling, maritime patrol and aerial firefighting. It is the main tactical airlifter for many military forces worldwide. Over 40 models and variants of the Hercules serve with more than 50 nations.  

During its years of service the Hercules family has participated in countless military, civilian and humanitarian aid operations. The family has the longest continuous production run of any military aircraft in history. In 2007, the C-130 became the fifth aircraft?after the English Electric Canberra, B-52 Stratofortress, Tupolev Tu-95, and KC-135 Stratotanker?to mark 50 years of continuous use with its original primary customer, in this case, the United States Air Force. The C-130 is also the only military aircraft to remain in continuous production for 50 years with its original customer, as the updated C-130J Super Hercules.

U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento has released background information on the missing C-130 airplane crew that is the subject of a joint agency search operation off the coast of San Clemente Island, Calif. The search for the missing crew has saturated an area totaling more than 644 square-miles and has included surface and air assets from the Coast Guard, Navy, Marine Corps and Customs and Border Protection.

The missing crew members from the C-130 are:

  • 1.    Lt. Cmdr. Che J. Barnes, age 35, Capay, Calif., Aircraft Commander.
  • 2.    Lt. Adam W. Bryant, age 28, Crewe, Va., Co-Pilot.
  • 3.    Chief Petty Officer John F. Seidman, age 43, Stockton, Calif., Flight Engineer.
  • 4.    Petty Officer 2nd Class Carl P. Grigonis, age 35, Mayfield Heights, Ohio, Navigator.
  • 5.    Petty Officer 2nd Class Monica L. Beacham, age 29, Decaturville, Tenn., Radio Operator.
  • 6.    Petty Officer 2nd Class Jason S. Moletzsky, age 26, Norristown, Pa., Air Crew.
  • 7.    Petty Officer 3rd Class Danny R. Kreder II, age 22, Elm Mott, Texas, Drop Master.

All are stationed at Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento, Calif., where their aircraft was based.

The search for the crew, as well as the two U.S. Marine Corps aircrew, has been ongoing since shortly after the suspected mid-air collision between the Coast Guard C-130 airplane and the Marine Corps AH-W1 helicopter.

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