SrA Kenneth P. Hauprich Jr.


11/10/2007 – Aviano Air Base,Italy – Four Airmen were killed and three were injured when a U.S.Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter attached to the 1st Battalion,214th Aviation Regiment crashed at approximately noon November 8,2007 22 miles southwest of Aviano, Italy.

Killed in the crash were Capt. Cartize B. Durham, Staff Sgt. Robert D. Rogers, Staff Sgt. Mark A. Spence and Senior Airman Kenneth P. Hauprich Jr. of the Air Force; and Capt. Christian P. Skoglund and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Davidangelo F. Alvarez of the Army.

According to the report, the accident sequence began as the helicopter flew over the Piave River training area, about 22 miles south of Aviano. The aircraft “began a slow, nose low, left-pedal turn. Upon initiation of the turn, the aircraft began a diving spin to the left from which the crew could not recover,” the report said. “The aircraft subsequently crashed into the Piave riverbed.”

Hauprich, 22, was knowledgeable beyond his years, which led to two flights fighting over him, Drexler said. During a manpower shortage, Hauprich left the avionics sensors flight to work on F-16s. When the shortage was over, the sensors flight was eager to bring Hauprich back — which they did over loud objections from the F-16 flight.

Maybe that was why Hauprich "always had a smile on him that would light up the room," Drexler said. "When I felt overwhelmed, I'd go down and find him and start talking to him because he always had a beaming smile that would just lift your spirits."

Hauprich followed his father, Kenneth Hauprich Sr., into the Air Force. His two sisters, one a twin of Kenny Jr., also crossed into the blue, according to local media in Hauprich's hometown of Jamestown, Ohio.

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