Helicopter Accidents

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MacDill AFB, FL
4 Jun 1969

Delaware County Daily Times (Chester, PN.)
Thr, June 5, 1969, page 2

Helicopter Crash Kills 8 Airmen

TAMPA, Flla (AP) — Eight airmen were killed Wednesday when an HH-43B Air Force Husky helicopter plummeted into a scrub brush field on a return flight from Avon Park bombing range to MacDill AFB.

Base officials withheld identification of the victims, five crew members and three passengers until relatives could be notified.

Air Force SSgt. Dennis Surratt who had a part-time job on an egg farm near the crash site at the hamlet of Picnic, said “I looked up as it passed overhead and I saw the blades let go — they just came apart in the air.”

Base officials said, the cause of the crash, had not been determined but Lt. Col. Charles Riley of the 836th Combat Squadron said it apparently was caused by “failure of a major internal component.”

Surratt said the helicopter fell about 200 feet to the ground. He said he heard two explosions on impact and the helicopter burst into flames.

Air Force spokesmen said the turbo-jet rescue helicopter, was assigned to Detachment 14 of the Eastern Air Rescue and Recovery Squadron. The helicopters fly to Avon Park as a safety precaution in case there is an accident as jet fighter-bombers practice bomb runs.

The Amarillo Glove-Times (Amarillo, TX) Thu, Jun 5, 1969, page 19

The crew members and passengers killed in the crash are identified as Maj. Dale W. Eder (P), SSgt. Patrick J. Geisler (FF), Sgt. Jerry R. Evans (??), A1C John H. Showers (??), A1C Graig A. Carver (??), Sgt. Coy N. Carrington (??), SSgt. Joseph W. G. Mills (??) and Army SSgt. Walter Williams Jr.

The Progress (Clearfield, Pennsylvania) · Fri, Jun 6, 1969 · Page 1

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