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Report: Helicopter Sightseeing, Not Training When it Crashed

August 11, 1991

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AP) _ An Air Force helicopter was on a sightseeing trip when it crashed, not a training mission as first reported, an accident report says.

The helicopter, a MH-60G Pave Hawk, from this Florida Panhandle base crashed May 28 off Antigua in the Caribbean. Six of eight people aboard were injured. No one was killed.

An accident report obtained by the Northwest Florida Daily News in Fort Walton Beach says the crash happened when crew members were taking pictures over beachside hotels and harbors.

The aircraft, designed to fly behind enemy lines without being detected, had more than $10 million in damage.

A day after the crash, spokesman Lt. Col. Frank Urben told reporters the helicopter had been on a combat search-and-rescue training mission.

″I stand by my characterization of it,″ Urben said Saturday. ″It’s not unusual, once the mission is completed and at an appropriate time, to offer incentive rides to support personnel.″

Two unidentified members of the helicopter’s crew were disciplined, Urben said. The aircraft was one of three helicopters in Antigua for training missions for several days before the accident.

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