Dedicated to the Preservation of the
U.S. Air Force Helicopter History
John Martin Augustine, Captain, USAF (Fallen)March 04, 1964 – January 14, 1991
John was named for his paternal grandfather (John) and his maternal grandfather (Martin).
He died at Edwards Air Force Base in Kern County, California when the helicopter he was piloting fell to the ground. He was training a Major to pilot the helicopter when the rear rotor on the helicopter froze up and snapped. John was killed. The major was injured but survived. Other passengers were able to jump out just before the helicopter hit the ground; they survived. The trainee was thereafter emotionally burdened by John’s death.
John’s wife, Janet (Kisner), was five months pregnant at the time of John’s death. It was their first child. The baby was named Megan. Janet never remarried. Both she and Megan remained lovingly close to John’s parents.
UH-1N #69-6635Edwards AFB, CA.14 January 1991
A UH-1N 69-6635 of the 6512th Test Squadron at Edwards AFB, CA. crashed while on a routine training mission due to main drive shaft failure. Killed in the crash were Capt. John Augustine (P), SSgt. Robert Lovell and two other crew members were injured. ~Additional Information Provided by Major Alan D. Resnicke, USAF (Retired)~
The copilot of that helicopter was Major Alan D. Resnicke, sustaining serious injuries, and the flying crew chief was SSgt William Tyler, sustaining major, life-threatening injuries. Both eventually recovered and returned to flying duties. The night unaided instructor upgrade flight took place over the Mojave Desert. The main driveshaft failed at the transmission end which subsequently made contact with the tail rotor driveshaft, causing it to fail as well. The shrapnel from this impact also caused both engines to fail.