C-17 Pilot Found Not Guilty in Airdrop Death

A court martial cleared C-17 pilot Capt. Jared Foley of all charges in the case of a West Virginia National Guard soldier killed during a parachute drop over Montana in 2011, reported the News Tribune of Tacoma, Wash. The 10-officer court martial panel rendered its verdict on Dec. 14, stated the newspaper on the following day. Foley, assigned to the 62nd Airlift Wing at JB Lewis-McChord, Wash., stood accused of reckless endangerment and dereliction of duty for continuing a drop mission on July 10, 2011, after a paratrooper drifted outside the designated landing zone, according to the newspaper. During the trial, the Army’s drop zone safety officer testified that he had cleared Foley to continue the mission despite the drift and that ground conditions appeared to be safe. But on a subsequent pass, another soldier, Sgt. Francis Campion, drifted off course and died when he struck a building. Lt. Col. Eric Carney, the former commander of Foley’s 7th Airlift Squadron, testified that Foley was a competent pilot and excellent officer.