January 31, 1992 |
At 8:57 p.m. on June 27, 1980, a DC-9 jetliner in level and routine flight between Bologna and Palermo exploded without warning and crashed into the Tyrrhenian Sea near the island of Ustica. All 81 people aboard died. What happened? Government investigators couldn't decide if a bomb or a missile destroyed the plane, but most of the evidence suggested that the airliner was shot down by a warplane. Whose?
February 7, 1998 |
Capt. Richard J. Ashby was guiding a U.S. military plane through a cloudless afternoon sky over the Val di Fiemme, a playground for skiers in Italy's Dolomite Mountains, when something went terribly wrong. The 31-year-old Marine aviator from Mission Viejo had logged 750 accident-free hours in the aircraft, an EA-6B Prowler, in training runs like this one Tuesday and in the real thing--surveillance missions over war-torn Bosnia-Herzegovina. This was his first pass over the Dolomites.
April 29, 1994 |
A U.S. pilot on a NATO mission to monitor and enforce a ban on military flights over Bosnia-Herzegovina was killed Thursday when his jet crashed shortly after takeoff from an aircraft carrier in the Adriatic Sea, officials said. The FA-18 jet left the Saratoga and plunged into the sea, the U.S. 6th Fleet said in a statement from Gaeta, Italy. The pilot's body was recovered, but his name was withheld, the fleet said. The incident will be investigated, it said.
February 13, 1999 |
Relatives of 20 people killed when a Marine jet caused a ski gondola to crash in Italy last year asked President Clinton to compensate them for their losses. As they prepared to return to Europe after the first week of testimony in the court-martial of a Marine pilot charged in the case, the victims' families questioned why the United States would pay $20 million to replace a damaged ski lift but so far not act on their claims.
February 6, 1999 |
Eight Marine officers, none of them combat pilots, were chosen as jurors Friday for the court-martial of an aviator whose jet sliced through a ski gondola cable in the Italian Alps, killing 20 people. Capt. Richard Ashby's lawyers questioned whether he could receive a fair trial without combat pilots on the panel. Two combat pilots had been dismissed from the jury pool. But the judge, Lt. Col. Robert Nunley, noted that there are three aviators on the jury who fly helicopters or cargo planes.
May 7, 1999 |
A jury of Marine Corps officers will begin deliberating today in the court-martial of a Marine pilot accused of conspiring to destroy a personal videotape shot minutes before his jet sheared ski lift cables in Italy in 1998, killing 20. During closing arguments Thursday, prosecutor Maj. Daniel Daugherty said Marine Capt. Richard Ashby conspired with his navigator, Capt. Joseph Schweitzer, to hide and later destroy the videotape to keep it out of the hands of U.S. and Italian investigators.