USAF: Helicopter fall victim used own equipment


NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — An Air Force report says a civilian who led crews of volunteers through the Sierra Nevada mountains cleaning up marijuana grow sites wasn't properly secured to his harness when he fell to his death from a California Air National Guard helicopter.

Shane Krogen was the 57-year-old founder of the High Sierra Volunteer Trail Crew. He was being lowered to a remote cleanup site in Sequoia National Forest when he fell about 40 feet from a hovering Pave Hawk helicopter last September.

An accident investigation report released by Air Combat Command in Virginia last week says Krogen mistakenly attached the aircraft's hoist to his self-procured, non-load-bearing, plastic D- ring. He was supposed to attach it to a government-issued, load-bearing, metal D-ring. The report says the plastic D-ring snapped, causing Krogen's fall.

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