I am always amazed at the ripple effects an accident creates in the aviation community. Whenever one takes place, if you don't know the people affected directly, you WILL know someone that was connected to them in some way. The common bond we all share is our love for flight. When we loosed brothers it leaves a hole. I didn't know the crews of the chopper or the C-130 involved in the accident on the west coast. However, a fellow contributor to Flight Line Internet Radio interviewed one of the crew members of the C-130. Shared with permission, his email is below. The Indy Transponder would like to pass along our condolences to the families and friends of both crews.
My friend Lieutenant Commander Che Barnes sadly died doing what he loved most: saving people's lives and flying. He and his crew were in a C-130 Hercules when there was a mid-air collision between them and a Marine helicopter off of the San Diego coast on 10-29-09 while he was on a search and rescue mission. Che was a really great person and I'm sure we will all remember him for what he did best. Che has flown numerous rescue missions and saved many people's lives, but sadly lost his own, along with his crew and 2 Marines.
The Coast Guard's motto is "Semper Paratus" which means Always Ready. The USCG Rescue Swimmers motto is "So Others May Live". All I can say is that Che risked his life proudly so others may live.
I'm going to miss him.
You can read my interview with him here.