Brothers (& Sisters) Killed in Action in USMC Helicopters or while assigned to USMC Helicopter or Tiltrotor Squadrons


Download PDF

Incident Date 20110919 HMLA(T)-303 AH-1W - BuNo 161105 [QT-451] - - training accident - impact with ground - Camp Pendleton (near Fallbrook)

Heitmann, Thomas NMN 1stLT Co-Pilot HMLA(T)-303 MAG-39/3rdMAW/CamPen 2011-09-19
Bland, Jeffrey NMN Capt Pilot HMLA(T)-303 MAG-39/3rdMAW/CamPen 2011-09-19


News Article - Oceanside

Marine Pilots Killed in Helicopter Crash at Camp Pendleton Identified

Capt. Jeffrey Bland, 37, and 1st Lt. Thomas Heitmann, 27, were killed after the AH-1W Super Cobra they were piloting crashed at Camp Pendleton on Monday.
By Kristina Houck (Patch Staff) - Updated September 22, 2011 12:46 am ET
Marine Pilots Killed in Helicopter Crash at Camp Pendleton Identified
Two United States Marine Corps pilots killed in a helicopter crash at Camp Pendleton were identified Tuesday.
Capt. Jeffrey Bland, 37, and 1st Lt. Thomas Heitmann, 27, were piloting an AH-1W Super Cobra that went down for unknown reasons about 1 p.m. Monday in a training area in the southeast corner of the base near Fallbrook, according to the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing's public affairs office.
Bland and Heitmann were pronounced dead at the scene by emergency responders, officials said. Both men were assigned to Marine Light Attack Helicopter Training Squadron 303, Marine Aircraft Group 39, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing.
On Tuesday the commanding general of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, Maj. Gen. Thomas Conant, grounded all training flights at Camp Pendleton and Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, as well as at USMC installations in Twentynine Palms and Yuma, AZ.
Conant ordered the “operational pause” as investigators look for the cause of the crash of the AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopter, according to 3rd MAW.
“It’s not for a loss of confidence in their aircraft,” said 1st Lt. Maureen Dooley, a wing spokeswoman at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.
Bland, of Champaign, IL, joined the Marine Corps in June 1997. Heitmann, of Mendota, IL, joined the Marines in May 2008.
Bland received numerous military decorations, including a Selected Marine Corps Reserve Medal, Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon, Iraq Campaign Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Air Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, two Navy Marine Corps Commendation Medals and three Sea Service Deployment Ribbons.
Heitmann received a National Defense Service Medal and a Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
Lt. Col. Robert Morgan, commanding officer of the training squadron in which Bland and Heitmann served, asked the public to "pray for the families of the warriors that we have lost."
The incident ignited a brush fire that burned 120 acres. The fire caused no reported structural damage or injuries, and was 80 percent contained Tuesday morning, according to officials.
The crash is under investigation. No details about what may have caused the crash have been released.

Source: Oceanside Patch - 22 Sept 2011
Submitted by: Alan H Barbour, Historian, USMC Combat Helicopter/Tiltrotor Assoc, 20170914

leave a Comment:

Supported Files: .pdf, .png, .jpg
Max File Size: 2 MB