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Wednesday May 10, 2000

Reports of pilot error are false

HEADQUARTERS MARINE CORPS, Washington D.C., USA ( USMC Capt Bakkar-Poe ) - In attempt to stay ahead of the erroneous information being passed by some of the press, I wanted to give you a heads up re CNN's intent to run a story saying that according to a "Pentagon Official", investigators will conclude pilot error in the case of the 8 April MV-22 crash.

For the record, I will remind all of you that have been so helpful in reporting the truth throughout this whole process. This "Pentagon Official" is WRONG. The only people who can make that claim is the Aviation Mishap Board. NO ONE can make that accusation at this point in time. The fact is that we are still looking at several possible causes, such as the effects of operating two aircraft in close proximity to each other in flight, and other heliborne flight characteristics.

The only official who has had contact with the JAGMAN board is LtGen Fred McCorkle. I have sat in on every conference call he has had with the JAGMAN board, to include the one he had right before yesterday's press conference. I can assure you that no one has concluded pilot error. CNN confessed that their source was not a member of the mishap board. I know the source was not LtGen McCorkle because he left town immediately following yesterday's press conference. So this "Pentagon Official" may have an opinion...but we all have opinions. I seriously doubt that this "Pentagon Official" has ever even flown the MV-22.

I just want to remind you all of what LtGen McCorkle said yesterday when asked about pilot error

"Q And then the second part is, if the pilot was operating the plane outside of the allowable parameters, and there was an accident, then why is there no pilot error, no finding of pilot error?

Lt. Gen. McCorkle Well, number one, as I've said numerous times, you know, that's the mishap board to find. Number two, it's illegal-it's actually illegal for someone to say-to make conjecture, you know, that it was transmission, that it was the rotor, that it was pilot error or whatever else until that mishap board reports out. So that's the reason that I asked for the sanctity of the board, you know, and the families that are waiting in there, too, you know, for the mishap board to report out. "

This e-mail serves as an official response to this "Pentagon Officials" claim. Furthermore, if an official feels he or she has to speak on a condition of anonymity...then they should not be speaking at all.

Capt Bakkar-Poe (BP)
Headquarters Marine Corps
Division of Public Affairs
Media Officer
Pentagon Room 5E774







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