11/26/09 — Crash report release set for Dec. 1

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Crash report release set for Dec. 1

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on November 26, 2009 7:01 AM

Air Force officials are expected to release the results Tuesday of an inquiry into a July 18 F-15E Strike Eagle crash that claimed the lives of two Seymour Johnson Air Force Base captains.

The Accident Investigation Board report will be discussed during an Air Combat Command teleconference at 9 a.m.

AIB President Brig. Gen. H.D. Polumbo will represent the USAF during the teleconference and is expected to field questions regarding just how the jet manned by Capts. Mark McDowell and Thomas Gramith went down in Afghanistan.

News of the crash reached 4th Fighter Wing Commander Col. Mark Kelly shortly after the incident occurred via a phone call from 336th Fighter Squadron Commander Lt. Col. Neil Allen.

Hostile fire was ruled out early as the cause of the crash, which resulted in the first combat-related deaths suffered by the wing since April 7, 2003, when an F-15E crash claimed the lives of Maj. William R. Watkins III and Capt. Eric B. Das.

For complete coverage of the board's findings, follow the News-Argus in print and on the Web.