A Crash and a Collusion?

A defense contractor may have escaped punishment because the Marines depend on it too much

Like a motorist picking up his car from the repair shop, the two Marine pilots expected their Bell AH-1 Cobra to be running smoothly when they went to retrieve it. After all, the two-man gunship had been in the Fort Worth, Texas, factory nearly a year for a $1.8 million overhaul. But Major Michael Browne and 1st Lieut. Robert Straw found enough problems with the chopper to delay their departure a day. Then, 20 minutes after they took off in the late afternoon of May 23, 1997, they were killed when their aircraft plunged into a field 15 miles southeast of...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!