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Aussie Blackhawk Crash
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 10:47 pm    Post subject: Aussie Blackhawk Crash Reply with quote

Chopper victims 'had no warning'
Defence chief Angus Houston announces the Black Hawk crash.
Helicopters' lethal legacy haunts service
tNovember 30, 2006 - 7:44AM

The soldiers aboard a Black Hawk helicopter which crashed off Fiji would not have had any warning it was about to go down, a helicopter safety specialist says.

Seven injured Australian soldiers are on their way home after the crash in waters off Fiji which left one of their comrades dead and another missing.

The crash occurred late yesterday as the helicopter was preparing to land on HMAS Kanimbla as part of training exercises for the evacuation of Australians from Fiji amid fears of an imminent coup.

Careflight Safety Services (CSS) General Manager Paul Regli says the accident would have happened very quickly.

"If there's not enough air in the cavity, the aircraft may sink very rapidly and in some cases there's very little warning for it to occur and in exactly this case the occupants would not have had any warning at all that an imminent crash was going to occur," Mr Regli told ABC Radio today.

He said helicopters are known to twist and roll as they sink.

"If they're unsecure in the cabin of the helicopter as it rolls it can be fairly violent, obviously, and that's where you may end up where people are injured and are more likely to be injured in the actual crash than actually drowning," he said.

The occupants of the helicopter, he said, would have undergone intensive training on how to get out of these sorts of accidents.

"We train people in pools and we use various simulators to rotate upside down in the water and teach them to come out of the aircraft and sometimes we actually black them out so they cannot see so that they can get out in all kinds of conditions," Mr Regli said.

However, he said, the water would have been like concrete for the aircraft after falling from the deck of HMAS Kanimbla.

"A 30 foot drop for a helicopter that size is going to create a significant impact and then you have other factors such as debris you know as the blades hit the water and that could further aggravate the situation."

Australian National University defence analyst Professor David Horner said more SAS troops had been lost in accidents than in combat.

"We expect, the public expects, that the SAS is able to do some amazing things and if they are going to do those dangerous things they need to train for them," Professor Horner told ABC radio.

"The SAS has unfortunately lost far more people in accidents than it has in combat.

"That is because they train very hard and they train on the edge of a dangerous situation and they need to do that because they need to be able to do things which are quite risky if the time came."

AAP
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2006 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Department of Defence Media Mail List
------------------------------------------------------------------------

CPA 324/06 Thursday, 30 November 2006

PERSONAL DETAILS OF SOLDIER KILLED IN BLACKHAWK CRASH NEAR FIJI

The Australian Defence Force, following agreement with the family, today
released the name of the Australian solider who died as a result of a helicopter
accident on HMAS Kanimbla yesterday.

Captain Mark Bingley, 35, was posted to Townsville to 171 Aviation Squadron as a
Qualified Flying Instructor on Blackhawk helicopters.

The Minister for Defence, Dr Brendan Nelson, said Captain Bingley served the
Australian Army with distinction.

�All Australians should feel very proud of his courage and commitment. Our
sympathies go to all of Captain Bingley�s family, in particular his wife and
son,� he said.

The Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, also extended
his condolences to the family and friends of Captain Bingley.

�He was an extremely competent and highly regarded member of Army�s aviation
community.

�Captain Bingley will be remembered as a dedicated pilot who had an infectious
energy and a great sense of humour.

�He was a valued team member who will be sorely missed by his comrades, the Army
and the Australian Defence Force,� Air Chief Marshal Houston said.

Captain Bingley was born in Launceston, Tasmania, and enlisted in the Australian
Army in 1990.

On completion of Recruit Training, he served for several years as a Rifleman in
The First Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (1RAR), and was promoted to
the rank of Corporal in 1997.

He was subsequently accepted for training as a helicopter pilot. On completion
of his training, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Army Aviation
Corps in 1998.

During his service he flew helicopters for 5 Aviation Regiment in Australia and
overseas, and undertook training in the United States of America.

Captain Bingley served in operations in East Timor, Cambodia and the Solomon
Islands.

He was awarded the United Nations Medal for service in Cambodia and East Timor,
the International Forces East Timor Medal, the Australian Active Service Medal,
the Defence Long Service Medal and the Australian Defence Medal.

Captain Bingley is survived by his wife and son.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CPA 332/06 Friday, 1 December 2006

PERSONAL STATEMENT RELEASED ON BEHALF OF MRS MELISSA BINGLEY

Media Note:

The Department of Defence is releasing this statement on behalf of Mrs Melissa
Bingley, wife of Captain Mark Bingley, the Australian soldier who died as a
result of a helicopter accident on HMAS Kanimbla.

Mrs Bingley has requested her privacy be respected and that she will not be
conducting any media interviews at this time.
_ _ _

�Mark is a wonderful man, a wonderful father; even if it was for a short period
of time.

�Mark is an amazing pilot who wanted to fly from the moment he was born �
everything he did was aimed at becoming a pilot.

�When he did a course, he didn�t just meet the requirements, he excelled.

�He loved the military and the opportunities it opened up to him. He moved from
infantry to aviation and loved the chance to live and fly in the United States
as well as the operations he has participated in around the world.

�We had a wonderful time together as a couple, made special by the communication
that we shared across vast distances and long periods of time. He always made me
feel important.

�He never forgot his family roots in Tasmania and he never forgot his military
roots as a sniper in 1RAR.

�He took great pride in being appointed a qualified flying instructor and
enjoyed providing assistance to the younger pilots.

�We waited a long time for Mitchell and even if it was only for three and a half
months, he felt Mitchell was his greatest achievement and he was very proud of
his son.

�Mark knew the risks involved in being a helicopter pilot. He felt the Black
Hawk to be a very safe aircraft and often talked about the many safety systems
built into it, but Mark was human and accidents happen.

�In my heart, I know he did everything possible for his crew, his passengers and
his aircraft to keep them as safe as possible to ensure their survival.�

Melissa Bingley
1 December 2006
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