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Author Topic: Can we help this veteran?  (Read 745 times)

Ric Gillespie

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Can we help this veteran?
« on: July 25, 2018, 07:45:51 AM »

We recently received this request:
"My name  is Paul Cartter. I was the Door Gunner on and USAF UH-1n, Huey helicopter, A/C #6644. We crashed approximately 10 miles north of Nassau, Bahamas on January 9th, 1984. When the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded, I have found a brief note that my helicopter, 644, was located by submarine. No more was found about it. Is it possible for you to inquire for this information. In this crash, I lost my crew, Pilot, Co-Pilot and Flight Engineer. I am the survivor and it would make me a little better mentally knowing that it was found. My crew paid the ultimate price. I broke my back in 4 places and in a wheelchair. Recently, last August, a plaque was placed at Hurlburt Field, Florida, my base, honoring my crew.
 
Thank you,
Paul B. Cartter, TSgt., USAF, Retired"


Let's see what we can find out.
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Bruce Thomas

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Re: Can we help this veteran?
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2018, 08:27:09 AM »

The only thing I've been able to find is a simple confirmation of the facts of the case at this website honoring USAF helicopter personnel lost in crashes.

And also this UPI news story dated January 10, 1984.
LTM,

Bruce
TIGHAR #3123R
 
« Last Edit: July 25, 2018, 03:02:39 PM by Bruce Thomas »
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Can we help this veteran?
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2018, 08:39:08 AM »

"Wreckage of this Huey was detected on the sea bottom during the search for wreckage of the space shuttle Challenger."

I wonder if that search was done by the Navy or a private contractor?  They undoubtedly used side-scan sonar and probably confined hits with an ROV.  I doubt that they used a manned submersible.
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Matt Revington

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Re: Can we help this veteran?
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2018, 10:19:03 AM »

The sonar search was apparently done by  Steadfast Oceaneering.  There was  a manned submersible and some robotic vehicles that checked out the sonar targets the story is told in this washington post article
https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/lifestyle/1986/05/28/the-epic-search-for-the-challenger/2c445a93-f39c-448b-b4c0-ca79efe3ad48/?utm_term=.cddd4f02f59a
« Last Edit: July 25, 2018, 10:22:23 AM by Matt Revington »
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Can we help this veteran?
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2018, 10:30:14 AM »

Thanks Matt.  The sonar work was done by Steadfast Oceaneering.

"When asked what he does for a living, Bob Kutzleb, the sonar guru of the Challenger search, replied with a broad grin, "Anything that makes a nickel on the water."
He was hired by his son Mike, who owns Steadfast Oceaneering in Falls Church, the principal search contractor for the Navy and the principal search contractor for the Challenger. Mike hands out pencils engraved with the motto: "If we can't find it, it ain't lost."

I know Mike Kutzleb and I'm well familiar with his non sequitur motto. Mike later formed Phoenix International, the contractor who royally screwed up our 2012 expedition.  The people we need to talk to are the ones who operated the subs.  Kutzleb doesn't do manned submersibles so they must have had a sub-contractor (pun intended).   
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