An Army helicopter flying in a convoy from Missouri to Houston for deployment to Saudi Arabia crashed in a wooded area 40 miles north of Houston, killing all three people on board.
The UH-1 "Huey" helicopter crashed Friday night in Liberty County as it traveled with three other helicopters through heavy fog near Cleveland Airport, Army officials said. The convoy was en route from Jefferson City, Mo.
Master Sgt. Ron Staszuck, spokesman for Fort Leonard Wood near Jefferson City, said the helicopter group was among a dozen UH-1s scheduled to land at Ellington Field in Houston, with eventual deployment to Saudi Arabia.
Killed in the crash were: 1st Lt. Peter J. Rose, 26, of Lincoln, Neb., the pilot; Chief Warrant Officer 2 Carol L. McKinney, 36, of Leslie, Mo., the co-pilot; and Staff Sgt. Dallas R. Cooper, 35, of Russellville, Mo., the crew chief, said Maj. Mike Milner, spokesman at Fort Leonard Wood.
Lt. Col. David Russell of Fort Leonard said it was not known whether the pilot of the crashed helicopter was using night goggles, which have been blamed for numerous military air crashes. A team of Army investigators from Fort Rucker, Ala., was sent to the crash scene Saturday, but officials said it could be several weeks before a cause is known.