Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Reporting Of Military 'Copter "Crashes"

Another example of official denials being later proven true:

I've noticed a pattern of reporting a while back that I've not seen anyone anywhere else comment on - it's been going on for a while now - concerning downed U.S. military aircraft in Iraq...... An airplane or helicopter goes down. It's initally reported as a "crash". Now I realize that a "crash" could be anything from a mechanical malfunction, to a case of pilot error, anything really. And I can understand being cautious about reporting until you have all the facts. Having said that though, it seems as if there is a deliberate effort to downplay any incidents involving downing of aircraft by enemy fire. When a downed aircraft is referred to as a "crash" I think most people assume that it's something other than by hostile fire. A recent example was a video shown on TV of a military troop transport helicopter that went down about a week ago - The video showed the helicopter rising and leveling off, then a big plume of smoke coming from it. The offical story for several days afterward was that it was likely mechanical problems. Finally it was admitted that it was shot down by enemy fire. I suppose it's in their best interests to initially downplay and deny, then admit later after the glare of the media spotlight has passed, and most people have forgotten about it. Then the report that it was actually shot down is almost an afterthought, gone unnoticed by the majority of people. I have yet to see this story reported on TV or newspapers - I came across it on the Net.......

Yet another example of official denial and later proven fact.......

Here's the story and link:

US: Crashed Copter Was Shot Down in Iraq
By Kim Gamel
The Associated Press
Wednesday 14 February 2007

A Sea Knight helicopter that crashed last week northwest of Baghdad was shot down, the U.S. military said Wednesday, reversing earlier statements that it appeared to have been due to mechanical failure.
The Marine CH-46 troop transport went down northwest of Baghdad on Feb. 7, killing all seven people on board, and an al-Qaida-linked Sunni group claimed responsibility and aired a video.
Military officials initially said they believed the crash was due to mechanical failure, but the military announced Wednesday that an investigation showed the crash was "the result of anti-aircraft munitions."
"Initial evidence indicated that the CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter went down as a result of mechanical failure. After further investigation using all available means, the cause of the incident has been confirmed to be hostile fire," said Maj. Jeff Pool, a spokesman for the Multi National Force - West.
The statement said the pilots of an AH-1W Super Cobra helicopter escorting the Sea Knight did not witness the actual attack, but they saw the fire, descent and subsequent crash. The initial signs resembled fires that have occurred aboard CH-46s experiencing mechanical difficulties in the past, it added.
The military also said the crash site had been cleared with explosives after the remains and equipment were removed "to ensure the enemy could yield no gain from the debris."
At least seven U.S. helicopters have crashed or been forced down under hostile fire since Jan. 20. In the wake of the recent crashes, U.S. officials have said they were reviewing flight operations and tactics but maintain there is no evidence of sophisticated new weapons used in any of the latest attacks.
Wednesday's statement raised to five that were known to have been shot down. Two private security company helicopters also have crashed but the cause was unclear.
The military statement declined to comment on insurgents weapons' capabilities or tactics to counter them, citing security concerns.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of these fallen service members," Pool said. "All available resources are dedicated to eliminating the threat to our aircraft so that we can continue to provide the support our ground forces."
The Islamic State in Iraq, an umbrella group of Iraqi insurgent groups that includes al-Qaida in Iraq, claimed responsibility for downing the helicopter and issued an Internet video on Feb. 9 it said was proof. The group also claimed the recent downings of two other U.S. helicopters.
The two-minute video showed a helicopter that appears to be a Sea Knight flying. An object trailing smoke is seen in the sky nearby, then the craft bursts into orange and red flames, with a spray of debris emerging from it.

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