Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Rotorcraft Report: AH-1 Cobra, C-130 Collide Off Coast
A U.S Marine Corps AH-1 Cobra helicopter and a Coast Guard C-130 transport collided over the Pacific Ocean on Oct. 29, killing a total of nine people. The incident took place off the coast of southern California, around 25 miles east of San Clemente Island. Witness reported seeing a fireball shortly after 7:00 p.m. the night of the incident. Rescue workers initially searched for survivors over a 644-square-mile section of the ocean where a debris field was spotted, but on Nov. 1 turned its focus to recovering bodies of the victims and wreckage from the aircraft. FAA, military and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) officials are investigating the crash.
Seven people were on the C-130 and two in the helicopter—Maj. Samuel Leigh and First Lt. Thomas Claiborne. On the C-130 were pilot Lt. Cmdr. Che Barnes and copilot Lt. Adam Bryant; Chief Petty Officer John Seidman; Petty Officer Second Class Carl Grigonis, Monica Beacham and Jason Moletzsky; and Petty Officer Third Class Danny Kreder.