Members of WP-ORG,
It's time again that we ask you to validate our services by contributing to Fund Drive 35. Our goal is $99,462. You may donate to FD35 by credit card, PayPal, or check:
Welcome all WP-ORG subscribers who have joined since our last fund drive! If you've not already done so, go to our home page, click on the links to familiarize yourself with the site; this is who we are and what we do.
I want to break away from my traditional opening message and pass on to you what impact WP-ORG has had on me.
My voluntary duties include preparing articles for our home page. I receive a news feed from various sources and it "pushes" web articles to my inbox. Once or twice a week I post the articles to the home page for articles of interest to the extended West Point community.
This past week I saw one web article and it caught my interest. There was something about the picture that caught my eye. I generally just scan the articles to make sure there was a West Point nexus. In this case, I read on. I did a quick search in the Register of Graduates and sure enough, both of these graduates went to West Point during the time I was there. They were from two classes junior to me and I did not know them personally but I had seen both on multiple occasions while I was there. Still something was nagging at me.
I noted in the article that both were branched into the Aviation branch. Aviation was also my branch when I graduated. Still there was more. The article described how Robert Wilson III flew a mission at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California to find the crash site of his father, Robert Wilson II. As you might expect, Darlene Wilson (Robert Wilson III's mother) had a few reservations about her son going to his father's crash site, but she trusted her son and his flight abilities. I had flown at the NTC during that time and I knew how treacherous night flying could be in the high desert and I wondered whether that was how the mishap happened? I kept checking.
I then went to the website that nearly every Army Aviator knows to check as the definitive source for all flight mishaps. Army aircraft mishaps get reported there before all other sources and it is updated frequently. It is ArmyAircrews.com. On an odd hunch I opted to search directly in the UH-60 web page:
Sure enough, Robert Wilson was there and as I suspected, it was a night vision goggle flight. Then it hit me like a blast. The entry read, "Crash was due to a stabilator failure causing it to lock in the down position." For those who are unfamiliar with the Army UH-60 Blackhawk, that helicopter had a major problem in its early days with an un-commanded nose dive due to problems with the stabilator locking full down. Nearly all of these mishaps ended badly.
Back in 1984 when I graduated from flight school I was assigned to the 590th Transportation Aircraft Maintenance Company as the Allied Shops Platoon Leader. It was during that time in the Army that we had several significant crashes due to stabilator failures. Using my engineering skills acquired at West Point, I submitted an Army Suggestion Program suggestion (which I still have) that designed a stabilator lock out switch on the pilot and copilot cyclic sticks that are used to control the aircraft. As it turned out, the Army ultimately modified my design and relocated the switch to the aircraft dash. It did not fix the underlying problem but it did give the crew a chance at survival. The switch was not installed fleet wide until after Robert Wilson's mishap in 1989.
Fast forward to 2006 - I was then assigned to the Army G-4 (Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics). Part of my duties dealt with tracking aircraft modifications and it was at that time that I discovered the Army had finally fixed all UH-60 stabilators in the fleet and had discovered the source of the stabilator problems. The stabilator was controlled by a black box. Radio magnetic interference from a variety of sources could cause an errant signal to be introduced into the black box and force the stabilator full down and crash the aircraft.
It was then that it dawned on me. Although I never knew Robert Wilson or his son, we had a connection. We were brothers in Arms and fellow aviators. I had worked diligently during my Army Career, along with many of my fellow aviators, logisticians and engineers to ensure that the Army never lost another Robert Wilson II. These are the ties that bind us together. My sincerest hope is that other articles that are posted will evoke a similar response for our WP-ORG members who visit the home page.
Please send us a note to let us know how we are doing as an organization, particularly on the home page articles. We also ask for your continued support to keep WP-ORG funded again.
You may make a secure donation to FD35 by
-credit card: https://secure.west-point.org/donate
Or you may donate by check made payable to WP-ORG and sent to:
3800 Buffalo Mountain Road SW
Willis, Virginia 24380-5082
Please be sure to indicate your affiliation and/or year group on your check or PayPal donation.
WP-ORG currently serves and supports members from West Point class yeargroups, parents of current cadets and midshipmen, West Point societies and parents clubs and the extended West Point community. Our past fund drive requirements may be viewed here:
If you wonder why you should donate, an explanation may be found here:
Our budget for FD35 is found here: http://www.west-point.org/budget/
Brief biographical sketches of the current members of the WP-ORG governing
Board of Advisors may be seen here:
WP-ORG is recognized by the IRS as a 501(C)(3) Non-Profit Organization. 100% of your donation is tax deductible. For those who may need it, our EIN is: 51-03877132.
All or part of your United Way donations may be earmarked for WP-ORG.
Our 501(c)(3) authorization may be found here:
Finally, WP-ORG is an independent volunteer organization not officially affiliated with West Point or the West Point Association of Graduates, although at times we work very closely with both institutions.
Thanks very much for your time, interest, and support.
USMA 1983 'Proud To Be!'
WP-ORG, Inc. CEO