Generals clash on cause of April Osprey crash

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Generals clash on cause of April Osprey crash

By Bruce Rolfsen – Staff writer
Posted : Saturday Jan 22, 2011 10:12:48 EST

In a rare public display of disunity, two generals are at serious odds over the cause of a fatal aircraft accident.

The April 9 crash in Afghanistan was the first loss of a CV-22 Osprey in combat. Two of the three cockpit crew members — pilot Maj. Randell Voas, 43, and flight engineer Senior Master Sgt. James Lackey, 45 — died attempting a night landing at a desert landing zone. The co-pilot survived; he has not been indentified. Also killed were a soldier and a contractor — two of 16 passengers in the cargo compartment.

Brig. Gen. Donald Harvel, president of the accident investigation board, said he believes engine problems brought down the special operations Osprey on its landing approach. Lt. Gen. Kurt Cichowski, to whom Harvel answered during the investigation, argues aircrew errors caused the crash.

Harvel cited engine problems in his report; Cichowski wrote a dissent that he released with the report Dec. 15.


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