Air Force Academy grad who died in Pave Hawk crash was avid runner

A U.S. Air Force HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter flies over the Royal Air Force Spadeadam test range in England, Nov. 20, 2013.


By TOM ROEDER | The (Colorado Springs, Colo.) Gazette | Published: January 9, 2014

A 2008 Air Force Academy graduate was killed Tuesday in the Pave Hawk helicopter crash in England.

Capt. Chris Stover, who was a noted marathon runner at the academy, was listed as the pilot of the HH-60 Pave Hawk that went down, killing four crew members.

Stover was a native of Vancouver, Wash. The (Vancouver) Columbian reports the avid runner finished the 2008 Boston Marathon in 2 hours, 42 minutes, 47 seconds for 217th overall.

News of Stover’s death came as academy officials prepared for the Wednesday burial of a 2008 classmate, Capt. David Lyon, at the campus cemetery. Lyon was killed in Afghanistan in December.

Here’s an Air Force news release on the crash:

“Capt. Christopher S. Stover, Capt. Sean M. Ruane, Tech. Sgt. Dale E. Mathews, and Staff Sgt. Afton M. Ponce were the HH-60G Pave Hawk aircrew members killed in a crash on the Norfolk coast in England Jan. 7.

An HH-60G helicopter carries a four-person aircrew: a pilot, co-pilot, and two special mission aviators who are qualified as both gunners and flight engineers. On this particular mission, Stover and Ruane were the pilots, and Mathews and Ponce were the special mission aviators.

'We continue to think of the loved ones who are experiencing such a tragic, sudden loss,' said Col. Kyle Robinson, the 48th Fighter Wing commander. 'The Liberty Wing feels as though it has lost members of its family, and we stand by to support one another and these Airmen’s families during this difficult time.'

The accident is currently under investigation, and more details will be released as they become available.”

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