Political News

Pilot misreading navigation system caused Iraq helicopter crash that killed 7, report says

Posted October 29, 2018 7:57 p.m. EDT

— The helicopter crash that killed seven US service members in Iraq this March occurred because the pilot misinterpreted the navigation display and the helicopter became tangled in a steel cable, a new report says.

The finding was reported in an Air Combat Command Accident Investigation Board report released Monday.

"The investigation concluded that the pilot misinterpreted aircraft navigation displays, which caused the formation to overfly the intended destination," the report reads. "As a result, the aircraft descended into an unplanned location."

The helicopter then struck and became tangled in a steel cable strung between two towers, according to the report.

Following the crash, Army Brig. Gen. Jonathan P. Braga, the director of operations for the combined task force leading the fight against ISIS in the region, said all personnel aboard the helicopter were killed.

The crash, marking one of the deadliest days for US in Iraq in 2018, occurred while the pilot was moving the helicopter to a landing zone closer to ground operations.

The servicemen included four flight crew members and three pararescuemen, according to the report.

The Defense Department released the names of the seven airmen in March. They are: Captain Mark K. Weber, 29, of Colorado Springs, Colorado; Captain Andreas B. O'Keeffe, 37, of Center Moriches, New York; Captain Christopher T. Zanetis, 37, of Long Island City, New York; Master Sergeant Christopher J. Raguso, 39, of Commack, New York; Staff Sergeant Dashan J. Briggs, 30, of Port Jefferson Station, New York; Master Sergeant William R. Posch, 36, of Indialantic, Florida; and Staff Sergeant Carl Enis, 31, of Tallahassee, Florida.