Investigation blames birds for US helicopter crash

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LONDON (AP) -- A U.S. military investigation says geese slammed into the windscreen of an HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter, disabling the pilot and co-pilot and leading to the crash that killed four U.S. Air Force crewmembers.

The helicopter crashed on the eastern coast of England during a nighttime rescue training mission Jan.7. It was flying over grass-covered marshland near Cley next the Sea and the investigation concluded Wednesday that the birds were likely startled by the noise.

The U.S. Air Force identified the victims as Capt. Christopher S. Stover and Capt. Sean M. Ruane, who were piloting the plane, and Tech. Sgt. Dale E. Mathews, and SSgt Afton M. Ponce.

The Pave Hawk copter was assigned to the 48th Fighter Wing and based at the Royal Air Force station in Lakenheath.


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