Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Charges possible for taking Marine crash debris: Lockheed KC-130T Hercules, United States Marine Corps, fatal accident occurred July 10, 2017 in Itta Bena, Leflore County, Mississippi

U.S. Marine Corps pilot Sean Elliott died on Monday when his KC-130T transport airplane crashed in rural Mississippi on a flight to Arizona. 


Marine captains and KC-130J pilots Sean Elliott (left) and Orlando Samudio conduct a formation flight near MorĂ²n Air Base in Spain on March 25, 2015. 


As a 4-year-old boy, Sean Elliott took his Christmas gift — a model C-130 plane he loaded with his toy soldiers — to bed with him each night, cradling it in his arms.

On Monday, Marine Capt. Sean Endecott “Puffin” Elliott died when a variant of the same aircraft he was co-piloting fell from the skies over a Mississippi bean field, exploding and killing all 16 service members aboard. The former San Diego County resident was 30.

He leaves behind his wife in North Carolina, Catherine, and his family in San Juan Capistrano.

“He did that for a long time,” said his father, John Elliott, referring to the bedtime ritual. “He kept taking it with him to bed. He slept with it like you would a teddy bear. A big plane, in the bed. A silly plastic thing, with the toy soldiers inside. It went to bed with him every night for quite a long time.”

His mother, Cynthia Elliott, added: “When he was 8, 9 years old, we took him and his brother, Erik, to the air show at Miramar. And he said that was a huge influence on him. He was so enamored with the aircraft and the military.”

A 2009 graduate of UC Davis, Sean Elliott majored in civil engineering, rose to become the house manager of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and starred on the Aggies’ alpine ski team.

A prep standout in tennis, the 6-foot 2-inch Elliott was renowned nationally for a booming serve and a scorching stroke. At 16 years old, he broke four Pete Sampras rackets at the throat while practicing.

“He was a huge hitter,” his father said. “I remember this one pro broke his strings hitting with Sean. He said, ‘I can’t believe that I’m hitting with a high school kid and he just broke my strings!’”

Unlike younger brother, Erik, however, Sean Elliott didn’t turn pro. Instead, he was selected by the Marine Corps for Officers Candidate School in 2008.

“He was always looking out for others, starting with me but then continuing to his fraternity brothers and his Marines,” Erik Elliott said. “He put his friends ahead of himself.”

Sean Elliott graduated from the Marine school two years later and was assigned as the operations duty officer to the “Raiders” of Miramar-based Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 352.

After flight school, he in 2012 became a co-pilot on the Lockheed Martin KC-130J Hercules variant of the air cargo transporter for the Cherry Point, North Carolina-based Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 252.

Elliott got his Marine Corps call sign “Puffin” because he refused to hunt the nesting and defenseless birds during a stopover in Iceland.

“Sean got all upset. Red-faced,” his father recalled. “So the Marines didn’t know whether to name him ‘Steamer’ or ‘Puffin’ because he got so steamed up about saving puffins. Well, ‘Puffin’ stuck.”

His near-constant companion was his doberman dog, Nibbler.

A joint Marine and Navy probe into the cause of the Monday accident in Mississippi’s rural Leflore County continues. The $37 million KC-130T, designated Bureau Number 16500, went down about 900 miles east of Cherry Point, where the flight originated.

It was bound for Marine Corps Air Station Yuma in Arizona and was crewed by members of the Newburgh, New York-based Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 452.

The aircraft also carried six Marines and a Navy corpsman from Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command’s elite 2nd Marine Raider Battalion on what military officials have characterized as “routine, small-unit predeployment training” at the Yuma installation.

The special-operations team’s gear contained small-arms ammunition, but officials have stopped short of saying that it contributed to what witnesses said was a midair explosion, according to the Special Operations Command.

Services for the deceased Elliott are pending.

“He brought light and happiness to so many peoples’ lives,” Cynthia Elliott said.

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com



ITTA BENA, Miss. (AP) — The Latest on the deadly military plane crash in Mississippi (all times local):

10:45 a.m.

Mississippi's public safety commissioner says authorities are pursuing at least one criminal investigation against someone for removing debris from a crashed Marine Corps plane.

At a Wednesday news conference in Itta Bena, Commissioner Marshall Fisher said the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, as well as federal prosecutors in northern Mississippi, are investigating.

Fisher urged people to stay away from debris and call the ATF at 1-800-ATF-GUNS if they find anything.

State law enforcement agencies are guarding the site where the Marine Corp KC-130 crashed on Monday in Mississippi's Leflore County, killing 15 Marines and 1 Navy corpsman.

Brig. Gen. Bradley S. James says two main impact areas are separated by a mile, but smaller debris is scattered more widely. He and Fisher said some debris could be dangerous to bystanders.

10:30 a.m.

As officials investigate a deadly military plane crash in Mississippi, a Marine general says the plane was at cruise altitude when the problem developed.

Brig. Gen. Bradley S. James, commanding general, 4th Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Forces Reserve, said, "Indications are that something went wrong at cruise altitude."

The crash of the KC-130 killed 15 Marines and a Navy sailor. James said nine Marines were from Newburgh, N.Y. and six Marines and a Navy Corpsman were from Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.

Officials say debris from the KC-130 is scattered over 2 to 3 miles and that it likely will take between five and six days to clean up.

8:45 a.m.

Leflore County Sheriff Ricky Banks says federal and local officials are still searching through the soybean fields in rural Mississippi after a military plane crashed, killing 16 people. He said Wednesday that debris from the KC-130 is scattered over 2 to 3 miles and that it likely will take between five and six days to clean up.

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant said in a statement Tuesday on Twitter that law enforcement authorities have received reports that items are being taken from the crash site. The governor asks people to stay away and turn debris over to authorities.

Bryant warned that anyone taking something could be prosecuted.

Banks said people have stopped picking up the debris after the governor's warning.

———

3:17 a.m.

Federal and local officials are combing Mississippi soybean fields for clues in a military plane crash that killed 15 Marines and a Navy sailor.

Debris was scattered for miles across the flat countryside Tuesday. The disaster Monday afternoon was the deadliest Marine crash anywhere in the world in more than a decade.

The Marine Corps says six of the Marines and the sailor were from an elite Marine Raider battalion at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. The special forces members and their equipment were headed for pre-deployment training in Yuma, Arizona.

The plane was based at Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh, New York, and officials said some of those killed were from the base.

Military officials continued to withhold the names of the dead, saying they were notifying family members.



The Wall Street Journal
By Gordon Lubold
July 11, 2017 1:36 p.m. ET


WASHINGTON—The military plane that crashed in Mississippi and killed all 16 aboard was carrying a group of elite Marine troops headed to California for specialized training, U.S. defense officials said.

The crash late Monday evening took the lives of 15 Marines and one Navy sailor. The plane was carrying a a group of Marines from what’s known as the Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command.

Those 15 and a Navy corpsman who were killed in the crash came from variety of active duty and reserve units around the nation, an official said.

Marine Corps officials said the flight began from Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point in North Carolina, and was headed to a naval air facility in El Centro, Calif., to transport personnel and equipment there.

The plane contained weaponry and ammunition that could have contributed to additional explosions after the crash, which occurred in a soybean field in rural Mississippi, officials said. A special team of explosives technicians are examining the site to assure it remains safe.

Officials said they don’t know what caused the plane to plummet from about 20,000 feet into the field, but investigators are examining the pallets of ammunition and other cargo on board, and how the material was loaded, for clues.

There were no indications of terrorism or foul play, officials said. The identities of the service members were being withheld pending notification of relatives, the officials said.

On Monday evening, officials from the Federal Aviation Administration contacted the Marine Corps when the KC-130 aircraft disappeared from air-traffic control radar over Mississippi, according to Marine officials.

“While the details of the incident are being investigated, our focus remains on providing the necessary resources and support to the family and friends of these service members as they go through this extremely difficult time,” Marine Corps officials said in a statement.

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant posted his condolences on Facebook. “Please join Deborah and me in praying for those hurting after this tragedy. Our men and women in uniform risk themselves every day to secure our freedom,” he wrote Monday evening.

The KC-130, a turboprop plane, is considered a workhorse for the military. It is a refueler and is also commonly used as a troop and cargo transport plane.

On Tuesday morning, President Donald Trump offered his and first lady Melania Trump’s condolences, writing on Twitter, “Marine Plane crash in Mississippi is heartbreaking. Melania and I send our deepest condolences to all!”

https://www.wsj.com



Members of a Marine reserve squadron based out of Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh, N.Y., were involved in the plane crash.

The KC-130T aircraft that crashed was from the Stewart-based Marine Aerial Refueling and Transport Squadron (VMGR) 452, Marine Air Group-49, 4th Marine Aircraft Wing, which is part of the Marine Forces Reserve headquartered in New Orleans.

The city of Stewart was quiet on Tuesday, as was the surrounding community, as details of the crash slowly trickle in. Media from several news organizations have gathered outside of the base, and several flowers and U.S flags were placed near the front entrance. Area residents lamented the event as a tragedy.

"It's just horrible," said Fed Decker, a Gardiner resident, "and it hits even harder knowing the local impact."

The names of those killed in the crash have not yet been released, pending family notification.

Ed Trosclair, a Marine Corps veteran of the Town of Newburgh, said he was heartbroken by the news of the plane crash.

Trosclair said his nephew, a Marine stationed at Stewart, informed him of the crash. One of the people on the plane was a neighbor of Trosclair's nephew.

The crash's local impact only makes the situation more tragic, Trosclair said.

"It does affect me," he said. "It just hurts so bad, it just makes me want to cry.

Trosclair lowered a U.S. flag and a Marine Corps flag on his property to half-staff in response to the crash.

Read full story here: http://www.clarionledger.com



The Wall Street Journal
By Gordon Lubold
Updated July 11, 2017 11:57 a.m. ET


A U.S. Marine plane crashed into a soybean field in rural Mississippi on Monday, killing 16 service members aboard, according to U.S. defense officials.

Fifteen Marines and one sailor, a Navy corpsman, were killed in the incident.

Marine Corps officials said the flight began from Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point in North Carolina, and was headed to a naval air facility in El Centro, Calif., to transport personnel and equipment there.

The Corps’ Reserve headquarters, Marine Forces Reserve, is based in New Orleans.

Officials from the Federal Aviation Administration contacted Marine Corps officials when the KC-130 aircraft disappeared from air-traffic control radar over Mississippi, according to Marine officials.

Officials said the cause of the crash is still unknown and under investigation. The identities of the 16 service members aren’t yet being released pending notification of next of kin.

“While the details of the incident are being investigated, our focus remains on providing the necessary resources and support to the family and friends of these service members as they go through this extremely difficult time,” Corps officials said in a statement.

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant posted his condolences on Facebook. “Please join Deborah and me in praying for those hurting after this tragedy. Our men and women in uniform risk themselves every day to secure our freedom,” he wrote Monday evening.

The KC-130, a turboprop plane, is considered a workhorse for the military. It is a refueler and is also commonly used as a troop and cargo transport plane.

On Tuesday morning, President Donald Trump offered his and first lady Melania Trump’s condolences, writing on Twitter, “Marine Plane crash in Mississippi is heartbreaking. Melania and I send our deepest condolences to all!”

https://www.wsj.com

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Many don't realize that training can be just as dangerous as combat tours. Rest in peace brothers, fallen heros. We shall pray for you.