New Braunfels Herald Zeitung, October 31, 1985, Page 7

Publication: New Braunfels Herald Zeitung October 31, 1985

New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - October 31, 1985, New Braunfels, Texas Three servicemen killed in Navy helicpoter crash CORPUS CHRISTI (AP) - A Navy helicopter that crashed on a training mission, killing three crew members, appeared to be making practice dives along with another chopper when it hit a marsh, witnesses said. Rick Andrews and his wife, Linda, of nearby F ort Aransas were on their way home about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday when they saw two helicopters practicing diving maneuvers about one-half mile off Texas Highway 53. Moments later, Andrews said, his wife yelled, “Oh my God. He crashed!” Three other Navy crew members were injured in the crash of the UH-1N helicopter on Mustang Island, between Corpus Christi and Port Aransas, a spokesman for the Corpus Christi Naval Air Station said. Ensign Terry Reese, public affairs officer for the Naval station, said identities of the dead and injured would be released today. Petty Officer Gwen Newman said the three survivors were taken to the base hospital, but she did not know the extent of their injuries. The UH-1N is used for search and rescue missions. The helicopters were on routine maneuvers at the time of the crash, Reese said. Officials had no statement to release concerning a cause for the accident Mrs. Andrews said it appeared that, just before the crash, the rotor of one of the helicopters had stopped “The blades weren’t blurry. I could see them very clearly and they didn't seem to be moving,” she said. She said she saw the helicopter hit the marsh and "go into pieces.” The other helicopter circled the fallen one briefly, then landed and two crew members began helping the survivors, Andrews said. He sped to a telephone, called authorities, and dropped off his wife, he said. Then he and a friend returned to help the injured. Faeces of the helicopter were scattered about 60 feet from the crash, Andrews said. Bodies of the three men were left where they were, he said. “We were administering a little bit of shock aid. The guy we were taking care of was complaining about a shoulder injury. We were just trying to keep the guy calmed down," Andrews said. “I asked him how it happened and he said he didn’t know.” Pilot says storm was the worst he had ever been through IRVING (AP) - J A. Coughlin calls the sudden storm that ripped across the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport moments after a jumbo jet crashed “the most severe weather I’ve ever been through in a plane.” The Delta Air Lines pilot, testifying Wednesday at National Transportation Safety Board hearings on the Aug. 2 crash that killed 137 people, said he saw what looked like a tornado and “the heaviest rain I’ve ever seen” seconds before the accident. Luckily for him and his passengers, they were on the ground when the storm slashed across the airport and pummeled their craft with gale-force winds and rain so intense Coughlin’s co-pilot thought the plane was moving. “The rain was horizontal,” Coughlin said. “We couldn’t even see the ground.” It was that storm — unforecast and until just before the crash — that Delta Flight 191 had flown through just north of airport runway 17L. Five pilots who testified Wednesday were either on the airport tarmac or in the air nearby when 191 crashed and exploded into flame at 6:06 p.m. near the runway. All of them said the storm looked harmless — “a garden variety summer shower,” as one put it — until it exploded without warning into a mass of swirling winds around 6 pm. American Airlines pilot Frank Becker, whose jet was six miles behind 191, said heavy rain and a bolt of lightning had just convinced him to abort his landing when the tower futilely ordered 191 to “go around.” The Delta jumbo jet, which Becker had seen disappear into the storm cloud moments before, had already hit the ground once when that command was issued and then hurtled on in flames to hit water tanks near the runway. “I was going to tell the tower that (I wouldn’t land) as soon as I could get a word in,” Becker said. “I didn't like what I was seeing.” That storm and effects of wind shear on aircraft have been the focus of the NTSB investigation. Another pilot, Capt. Allan Stanley of Eastern Airlines, testified Wednesday that he was queued up for departure on a runway near Delta's crash for almost an hour before the accident. “I saw the storm approaching the north end of the airport, and when it was about one to three miles away. I saw what looked like a tornado inside the rainshower,” he said. He called the funnel cloud “a striking figure. It was much whiter than what you’d expect. The closest thing I’ve ever seen to it is a waterspout, but never in a shower like that.” Seconds later, he saw the Delta l>ockheed L-1011 emerge from the storm “looking like it was running across the ground.” The plane’s nose inched upward like it was trying to take off again, “but then I saw sparks and fire flying under it.” Its left wing engulfed in flame, the plane ricocheted off the ground briefly, started a left bank and then slammed into the water tanks about IOO yards later, he said. “There was quite a fireball, and then our view was obscured by smoke,” Stanley said. Two other pilots testified they experienced a wind shear, or sudden winds gusts, on their way to landing just before Delta 191. but both said the shears were too negligible to report to D-FW's tower aircraft controllers. Westmoreland joins Vietnam vets' march across state AUSTIN (AP) - In a reunion ot eople who had never met, retired len. William Westmoreland mar-hed five miles along a Texas ighway with veterans who had been inder his command in Vietnam. Rush-hour motorists honked, vaved and yelled their support as The l^ast Patrol” marched Wed-lesday on the Interstate 35 frontage oad. Westmoreland, who flew to Austin o join the 20 or so marchers, was in ront. “It’s great pride for me to be with hem again. I’ve been with them )efore on the battlefield,” West-noreland said. The 300-mile Dallas-San Antonio narch is billed as “A Journey to fiemember — The I^ast Patrol,” and .s aimed at calling attention to Vietnam veterans and to remind the public of those still listed as missing inaction. Tim Holiday of Dallas, a march organizer, told Westmoreland that Vietnam veterans are suffering through a variety of problems. But the retired general said Vietnam veterans, overall, are doing well. ‘‘They actually have less problems, as a group. But there are a number of Vietnam veterans who have problems, as there are veterans that have problems after every war ” he said later in an interview. “The Vietnam veteran is doing very well In society. He’s moving to positions of leadership, but there are veterans who need help and the public must understand that,” Westmoreland added. The marchers planned a Capitol rally today. Westmoreland, carrying the patrol’s torch for the final few Suicide will bring reforms AUM IN (Ah) — I he suicide of a 29-year-old mentally ill woman within 18 hours after being discharged from the Austin State Hospital has brought a pledge of reform from hospital officials, it was reported Wednesday. Adolph Supak. assistant hospital superintendent, told the Austin American Statesman, “I'm pretty touched by this case and want to do something about it.” Debra Oliver was found dead 18 hours after being discharged from the Austin hospital Oct ll. She was released despite records showing that for 13 years she had attempted to commit suicide, the American Statesman reported. Those attempts included trying to hang herself, jumping in front of a car. setting herself on fire, taking drug overdoses and slicing her wrist so many times her right hand was partially paralyzed from nerve damage. Her death came after she swallowed enough pills to kill six people, authorities said Hospital officials said that mistakes by staff members may have contributed to her death They have pledged to change procedures for discharging suicidal patients, the American Statesman reported The hospital released Oliver on Oct. ll, sending her and two other patients to a Houston boarding house “so shabby they stayed only IO minutes.” the newspaper reported Oliver left the others and took a bus back to Austin After midnight, she arrived at the home of a mental health worker she had known at the hospital. The worker and her family called the state hospital admissions office, but they were told Oliver needed to appear in person to be readmitted They were told that if she needed a place to stay the night, she could go to the Salvation Army. She did, and that is where she died hours later. Oliver swallowed a 30-day supply of Elavil, a drug used to relieve depression, leaving a note saying all sources of support had dwindled. Her family and Salvation Army officials blame the hospital for directing Oliver to two residences unsuitable for an emotionally unstable person. William Hubble of Angleton, the dead woman's father, said he knew that mental health workers are “overworked and underpaid,” but criticized the system. “I feel for sure she'd be alive today if they’d made better arrangements.” Hubble said. Salvation Army commander Maj. Robert Bagley said, “We are not in the least able to care for someone with mental illness. They don’t belong in an institution like ours ” The American Statesman said Oliver’s death prompted Austin State Hospital officials to conduct an internal investigation. Supak said the report uncovered several hospital procedures that could be modified. He said that in the two weeks since Oliver's death. Austin State Hospital has decided to: — Give suicidal patients a smaller amount of drugs upon discharge. — Shorten the time between discharge and the first appointment at an outpatient clinic. Now, most patients are not seen in a community clinic until between two weeks and a month after discharge. — Increase the number of professional workers in the admissions office of the hospital during the evening and night. Supak said there is not much the hospital can do to monitor the condition of boardinghouses for the mentally ill The state has no regulations or licensing for room and board homes, nor does the Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation have minimum living standards for such homes Supak said the Houston boardinghouse that Oliver and the two other patients were assigned to was recommended by the community mental health center in Harris County. UEST The Right Place to buy auto parts.- Car Care CHOUEST Motor OII sow? S>Si(i?efls aH mfrs 5ohd ,1a 55°o#COMOor heavy Puty 0,1 tar CkMct hundred yards, Wednesday led the marchers to a Veterans of Foreign Wars post where they spent the night. “Better late than never,” he said of the warm reception for the veterans. “What you see here today is typical of what’s going on around the country. There’s been a tremendous turnaround in the attitude of the Vietnam veteran toward himself and the attitude of the American public toward the Vietnam veteran.” The march began in Dallas Oct. 19. It is scheduled to end in San Antonio Nov. 7. About 20 marchers are participating, but other Vietnam veterans — such as Westmoreland — join for portions of the walk As he stopped to re-bandage his feet, marcher Gregory Smith of Dallas said he joined the Last Patrol to keep America from forgetting Vietnam veterans like himself. “We’1,1 all just die out and it will fade away. Somebody’s got to care,” said Smith, 37, a business systems analyst. He said he was glad Westmoreland joined the march. “He’s got a heavy burden to carry. We’ve got our own. He did what he thought he had to do,” said Smith. Of the Texans    who    served    in Vietnam, 3,244 were killed and 161 still are listed as missing. Westmoreland    said    there    is “circumstantial    evidence’’    indicating there    are    American prisoners of war still in Southeast Asia. “It’s reasonable to assume that there are some,” he said. And he told several marchers, “Every soldier goes through hell in war. You fellows had it doubled-edged. 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  • A. Coughlin
  • Allan Stanley
  • Ensign Terry Reese
  • Frank Becker
  • Gregory Smith
  • Gwen Newman
  • Rick Andrews
  • Robert Bagley
  • William Hubble
  • William Westmoreland

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Publication: New Braunfels Herald Zeitung

Location: New Braunfels, Texas

Issue Date: October 31, 1985

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