Ex-Engineer Arrested for Obstructing Investigation of 2017 Plane Crash

Regarding a criminal probe into a 2017 military plane accident in Mississippi that killed sixteen service personnel onboard, prosecutors revealed on July 3rd that an engineer who previously worked at a U.S. Army air logistics center had been accused of making false representations and obstructing justice.

According to the military, the KC-130 air tanker went down in the Mississippi Delta while transporting personnel from an elite Marine special ops team to Arizona for training.  A plume of black smoke rose over the countryside as the inferno crash dispersed debris for miles in all directions. 

On July 10, 2017, 15 Marines were killed, along with a Navy corpsman.

As the jet soared through the sky, onlookers reported hearing low, rumbling explosions. They also witnessed the plane descending into a flat, verdant terrain and saw what seemed to be an empty parachute drifting towards the ground.

A press statement from U.S. Attorney Clay Joyner states that 67-year-old James Michael Fisher was detained on July 2nd after an indictment by a federal grand jury in Mississippi.

Fisher worked as the head propulsion engineer at Georgia’s Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex. Fisher, who currently resides in Portugal, appeared in Jacksonville, Florida.

A representative from the northern Mississippi US attorney’s office said that they were unaware of whether Fisher had legal representation.

This incident was the worst aviation tragedy to affect the Marine Corps since a transport helicopter crashed in Iraq during a sandstorm in 2005, killing thirty Marines and one sailor.

In a press release, Joyner said the indictment states that Fisher intentionally withheld documents and lied to investigators about his engineering choices that might have affected the accident.

If found guilty of the two counts of making misleading statements and two counts of obstruction of justice, Fisher could spend the next twenty years behind bars.

According to the federal prosecutor, Fisher was arrested by three other agencies that are also investigating the collision. These include the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations.