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Military Accidents Italy

NEWS
February 4, 1999 | From Times Wire Reports
As church bells tolled, relatives of 20 skiers held hands in silence a year to the minute after their loved ones perished in a cable car crash caused by a U.S. Marine jet. The 25 relatives stood in a semicircle around the spot where the gondola slammed into the ground, its cable clipped by the low-flying jet. Earlier, a memorial service was held at the Roman Catholic church in the small Alpine town of Cavalese. The court-martial of Capt.
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NEWS
August 9, 1998 | Reuters
The commanding officer of an air squadron involved in the deaths of 20 Italian skiers was relieved of his duties and reassigned, the Marine Corps said Saturday. The military says an EA-6B Prowler from the squadron of Lt. Col. Richard Muegge was flying too low and too fast on a Feb. 3 training mission when it severed two lift cables in the Italian Alps, dropping the gondola carrying the skiers to the ground.
NEWS
July 14, 1998 | Associated Press
To the dismay of victims' families, an Italian judge Monday threw out a manslaughter case against the crew of a U.S. Marine jet that severed a ski gondola cable in the Alps, killing 20 people. Judge Carlo Ancona ruled that, under a North Atlantic Treaty Organization agreement, Italian courts lack jurisdiction in the Feb. 3 accident. He also dismissed charges against three top U.S. military officials at the Aviano base in northern Italy, where the jet was stationed.
NEWS
February 26, 1999 | From Associated Press
A Marine Corps pilot may have mistaken a line formed by white rock and buildings for the horizon when he flew his jet into the cable of an Italian ski gondola, killing 20 people, a defense witness testified Thursday. Navy Cmdr. Fred Patterson, an expert on visual phenomena, said Capt. Richard Ashby's misreading of the terrain could have made him think he was flying higher than he was.
NEWS
February 9, 2001 | From Times Wire Reports
The pilots of a U.S. Marine jet that sliced a ski gondola's cables in northern Italy in 1998, killing 20 people, acted as "criminals," an Italian parliamentary commission said. The panel said the U.S. chain of command at Aviano Air Base, where the airmen were deployed, was responsible. "It's a shame that these two criminals--because this is what they are--were acquitted," Ermanno Iacobellis, who headed the 25-member commission, said of the pilots. A U.S.
NEWS
February 25, 1999 | RICHARD A. SERRANO, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Attorneys for Marine Corps Capt. Richard Ashby opened their defense in his court-martial Wednesday by presenting testimony that the pilot never should have been cleared for the low-level training flight last year that struck Italian cable car wires and killed 20 skiers. Their lead-off witness, Milton Miller, a retired lieutenant colonel in the Air National Guard, testified that Ashby, 31, of Mission Viejo, Calif.
NEWS
May 27, 1998 | From Times Wire Reports
A prosecutor sought indictments against the four-man crew of a U.S. Marine jet that severed ski-lift cables in the Alps in February, killing 20 people. Prosecutor Francantonio Granero in Trento also requested the indictment of three U.S. military officials at the Aviano base in northern Italy, where the jet was stationed. The government has acquiesced in U.S. prosecution of the crewmen.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 3, 1998 | STEVE CARNEY, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
While her Marine aviator son faces a possible court-martial in the accidental death of 20 people in Italy, a Mission Viejo woman says it is the family's faith in God and her faith in her son's innocence that sustain her. Capt. Richard J. Ashby was piloting an EA-6B Prowler jet Feb. 3 when he struck a cable supporting a ski-lift gondola, sending all aboard the cable car plummeting to their deaths. After a two-day hearing in Camp Lejeune, N.C.
NEWS
July 11, 1998 | RICHARD A. SERRANO, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The Marine Corps announced Friday that not only will two aviators be court-martialed for the accident that killed 20 people in an Italian cable car tragedy, but dereliction-of-duty charges also may be lodged against four senior officers. The ruling by Lt. Gen. Peter Pace, commander of the Marine Corps forces in the Atlantic region, sets in motion what is shaping up to be an unparalleled episode in U.S. military justice.
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