Officials at Arista Aviation Services have identified the pilots who were injured when the Sikorsky HH-60L Blackhawk helicopter they were flying crashed in a privately owned Moore County field, 5 miles south of Tullahoma, on Feb. 28.
The pilots have been identified as 70-year-old Jack Cook of Ozark, Alabama, and 69-year-old Larry Cornell of New Brockton, Alabama. As of last weekend, they were being treated at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where they are listed in stable condition.
Both pilots are highly-experienced retired Army Aviators who have flown the Black Hawk for over 35 years. Cook and Cornell joined Arista in 2015. Arista Aviation owns the helicopter, which was on its way from Arista’s base in Enterprise, Alabama, to an Atlanta trade show, HeliExpo 2019, at the time of the crash.
The cause of the crash is still unknown. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) continue to investigate.
Rich Enderle, Arista’s President and CEO said, “Arista Aviation would like to thank all the first responders, whose quick action saved the lives of our pilots, we will be forever grateful.”
The crash occurred off Cumberland Springs Road in Moore County, just past the intersection with West Lincoln Street/Cobb Hollow Road.
According to Winston Brooks, spokesman for the Tullahoma Police Department, the Coffee County Communications Center received a crash complaint at 3:16 p.m. on Feb. 28, from one of the two pilots. The Moore County Sheriff’s Department, fire department and EMS responded quickly, sending multiple units to the crash site.
The Tullahoma Police and Fire departments, along with Coffee County Emergency Medical Services and the Coffee County Emergency Management Agency also responded to the crash.
Arista Aviation released a statement Friday morning.
“Arista has notified and is cooperating with the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board, which will investigate the incident that occurred in degraded weather conditions as the helicopter approached the airport. Arista is also cooperating with local emergency response and law enforcement officials.
“Arista is a FAA part 145 repair station, which is based in Enterprise, Alabama. Arista provides maintenance and modifications to an assortment of rotor wing platforms operated both domestically and internationally for a variety of missions, which include firefighting and construction.”
Tullahoma Police Sgt. Cody Brandon was able to locate on foot the helicopter in a remote location near the western boundary of Coffee County and the eastern boundary of Moore County on private property and relayed the coordinates to the Tullahoma Fire Department.