Local News

After the crash: Searching for accountability in the Coast Guard

Although Lt. Lance Leone wasn't found responsible for the crash of CG6017, he was held accountable. The unmarked wires his helicopter struck were later removed by the Coast Guard. (CIR photo)

Although Lt. Lance Leone wasn’t found responsible for the crash of CG6017, he was held accountable. The unmarked wires his helicopter struck were later removed by the Coast Guard. (CIR photo)

Four years ago, on July 7, 2010, a Coast Guard Air Station Sitka helicopter crashed off the coast of La Push, Washington, taking the lives of the aircraft’s commander and two crewmen.

The helicopter’s co-pilot, Lt. Lance Leone, was injured, but survived. Although he was not at the controls when the aircraft went down, Leone was charged and tried in a military court. Following his acquittal, however, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano — on the advice of the commandant of the Coast Guard — refused to recommend Leone for promotion, effectively ending the young pilot’s career.

The deaths of the Sitka airmen were three of 14 fatalities in the Coast Guard in a two-year period. Late last month, the Center for Investigative Reporting released an in-depth story examining the culture of safety — and accountability — in the Coast Guard.

The following excerpt is from the Center for Investigative Reporting’s radio news magazine Reveal.

 

Read the full story from the CIR’s G.W. Shulz.

You can listen to the full hour of Reveal here, or tune in KCAW for a special broadcast of this program at 4 PM on Sunday, July 13.

You can learn more about Lt. Lance Leone and the crash of CG6017 in previous reporting by KCAW, including a 3-part interview.

At the 2011 dedication of the Sean Krueger softball field in Sitka. Krueger was in command of CG6017. (KCAW photo/Emily Bender)

At the 2011 dedication of the Sean Krueger softball field in Sitka. Krueger was in command of CG6017. (KCAW photo/Emily Bender)

 

 

Comments

Please read our comment guidelines.

Recent News

Mayor candidates share ideas, with few differences

Candidates Ben Miyasato (left), Matt Hunter (center), and Mary Magnuson (right) fielded questions from chamber members for 90 minutes. (KCAW photo/Robert Woolsey)
The three candidates for the mayor’s seat on the assembly met in a forum before the Sitka Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday (9-28-16). They all had much more in common, than differences. more

Marijuana fees could fund student travel

Sitka High freshman David Wilcox blazes across the finish line Saturday morning (9-28-13). Faced with its largest projected budget deficit in recent memory, the Sitka School Board may consider dramatic cuts to sports and activities programs in 2016. (KCAW photo/Robert Woolsey)
During their regular meeting last Tuesday night (09-27-16), the Assembly approved - on first reading - a dedicated fund for student activity travel using marijuana fees. They also set aside money for landslide mitigation and received a half a million dollar check from Sitka Community Hospital. more