boston.com your connection to The Boston Globe

Clinton airman in helicopter that crashed in Nev., killing 5 on board

Craft slams into power line during training mission

Petty Officer Andrew Robert Bibbo and the four members of the US Navy's HS-7 Dusty Dogs squadron were preparing for deployment this fall on the USS Harry S. Truman. Petty Officer Andrew Robert Bibbo and the four members of the US Navy's HS-7 Dusty Dogs squadron were preparing for deployment this fall on the USS Harry S. Truman.

A US Navy airman from Massa chusetts was among five crew members killed this week when their helicopter crashed into a power line during a night training mission in the northern Nevada desert, the Navy announced yesterday.

Petty Officer Andrew Robert Bibbo, 22, of Clinton, was killed Tuesday as the helicopter flew at low altitude.

Bibbo was assigned to the Navy's HS-7 Dusty Dogs, a helicopter squadron based at the Jacksonville Naval Air Station in Florida.

The helicopter group arrived in Nevada last week as part of a monthlong training exercise at Fallon Naval Air Station.

The group was preparing for deployment this fall on the USS Harry S. Truman.

Calls to Bibbo's family in Clinton, which is 35 miles west of Boston, were not returned. The Navy said he had served for three years.

A neighbor who declined to give his name said Bibbo graduated from Clinton High School, where he played football. The town, said the neighbor, was devastated.

"Everybody is talking about it," he said.

The other airmen killed in the SH-60F helicopter crash were Michael D. Sheahan, 40, of Augusta, Ga., the group's commanding officer; Lieutenant Richard Francis Andersen Jr., 27, of Virginia Beach, Va.; William Weatherford, 30, of Wichita, Kan.; and Jared John Rossetto, 24, of Corralitos, Calif.

There were no survivors.

The helicopter group was a critical part of the airborne rescues in New Orleans and along the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina in August 2005.

The Navy credits the group with rescuing 200 people and evacuating 300 others.

The SH-60F Seahawk helicopter Bibbo was flying in crashed about 10 miles west of Austin, Nev., Navy officials said.

A spokesman at Fallon Naval Air Station said the helicopter struck high-voltage transmission lines before crashing into remote, unpopulated terrain.

Zip Upham, public affairs officer at NAS Fallon, told the Associated Press that investigators continued to gather evidence at the crash site.

"Remains of the personnel have been removed and are being prepared so they can be returned to their loved ones for proper services," Upham said yesterday.

SEARCH THE ARCHIVES