Report: Lack of communication contributed to Eglin airman’s death

Maj. Garrett Knowlan nwfdn 96th Test Wing Eglin Air Force Base

Maj. Garrett Knowlan was killed Oct. 11 during water survival training at Pensacola Naval Air Station. He was assigned to the 96th Test Wing at Eglin Air Force Base.

Special to the Northwest Florida Daily News
Published: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 at 01:41 PM.

A lack of communication between crews and leaders contributed to a boat crash that killed an Eglin airman during a training exercise in Pensacola Bay last fall, according to an accident report released Tuesday.

Read the report for yourself.

Maj. Garrett Knowlan with the 96th Test Wing was killed Oct. 11 after he was hit by a boat participating in the training.

“Evidence suggested a misunderstanding of command and control responsibilities,” the report said.

Knowlan had been in Pensacola for a three-day parachute water survival training course.

The 32-year-old flight test engineer recently had moved to Eglin from Hurlburt Field and was transitioning to fly F-15s and F-16s, which is why he was required to take the training course. The jets are equipped with ejection seats and frequently fly over water.

The Air Force contracts with Naval Air Station Pensacola for the training. Contracted crews from Metson Marine Services had been hired to operate six boats for the exercise.

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