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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Man killed in Rucker helicopter crash identified

Fort Rucker released the name of the crewmembers involved in Monday night's TH-67 helicopter crash.

James Elliott, 55, was a civilian instructor pilot employed with LSI Corporation. He died with the training helicopter crashed nead Highbluff stagefield in Geneva County at about 3:30 p.m. on Monday.

WO1 Forrest Pryde received non-life threatening injuries and was medivaced to a local medical center where he remains in stable condition. The student pilot is assigned to Bravo Company, 1st, 145th Aviation Regiment.

The two were conducting Initial Entry Rotary Wing Training in the vicinity of Highbluff Stagefield when the crash occurred.

Fort Rucker's Flatiron medevac unit and emergency medial services, as well as and local EMS and law enforcement agencies were dispatched immediately after another training aircraft alerted the control tower they had located the crash site.

Elliott was pronounced dead on the scene by the Geneva County Coroner.

Officials have visited with Pryde today and will continue to monitor his condition. Fort Rucker chaplains have been made available for the families as well as unit personnel who may need support during this difficult time.

The incident remains under investigation by the Combat Readiness Center.

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I grew up in the military. Mom was an Air Force nurse for a few years, dad was a navigator on B-52s, among other things. One grandfather served in World War II, uncle is retired Navy, other grandfather and great-uncle served in Korea and a cousin is currently serving in the Marine Corps. Currently, I'm the military reporter for the Great Falls Tribune in Montana. Previously, 


As a military kids, we moved all over. As an adult, I've traveled all over and moved for work. But now, I'm putting down roots in Montana with my boyfriend. We just bought a house and are slowly but surely making it our home. We have more land that we know what to do with at the moment. Now we're getting a garden started, tearing down walls and having loads of fun at what we call the Homestead.

In a part life, I did PR for the guy who built the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the National Mall, social media for the National Museum of Health and Medicine, before that, edited two military technology magazines for a publishing group in the DC area and before that, I was the military reporter (among other things) at the Montgomery Advertiser, covering Maxwell Air Force Base, the Alabama National Guard, veterans and anything else military related in the area. And in between all of that, I leave town, preferably the country, whenever possible. It all started when I spent a semester in New Zealand.

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