NASA selected the mishap investigation board to
determine the cause of the June 26 loss of the Helios
Prototype solar aircraft.

The board consists of members from NASA centers and the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • Dr. Thomas E. Noll, chairman, Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va.
  • Dr. John M. Brown, NOAA Forecast Systems Laboratory, Boulder, Colo.
  • Stephen D. Ishmael, Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif.
  • Dr. Marla E. Perez-Davis, Glenn Research Center, Cleveland
  • Geary C. Tiffany, Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.

The remotely operated Helios Prototype aircraft was
destroyed when it crashed into the Pacific Ocean during a
checkout flight from the U.S. Navy Pacific Missile Range
Facility (PMRF) on Kauai, Hawaii.

No property damage, other than the prototype, or injuries
occurred as a result of the mishap. The remotely piloted
aircraft came down in the ocean, within the confines of the
PMRF test range.

The lightweight flying wing took off from PMRF at about 4:00
p.m. (EDT) on a functional checkout flight. It had been
aloft for about 29 minutes over the PMRF test range, when
the mishap occurred during a shakedown mission in
preparation for an endurance flight planned for next month.