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Report: Faulty part caused 2015 helicopter crash that killed Army pilot from McHenry

McHENRY – The helicopter crash that killed two Army pilots, including one from McHenry, in December 2015 was caused by an improperly installed part, according to a U.S. Army incident report.

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Kevin Mose Weiss, 32, of McHenry, and Alex Caraballo-Leon, 35, of Patillas, Puerto Rico, were killed when the AH-64D Apache attack helicopter they were flying out of Fort Campbell, Kentucky, crashed in Tennessee during a training exercise, according to a news release from the 101st Airborne Division based there and a story from Military.com.

The pilots had about 20 seconds to notice the helicopter was in serious trouble as it flew 700 feet above the ground, according to Military.com. The incident report found the crash was unavoidable once the small part malfunctioned.

A spokesman for the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade at Fort Campbell said the safety of soldiers is paramount, and the post is doing everything it can to prevent a similar occurrence.

Weiss, the oldest of eight children, was known to his family and friends by his middle name of “Mose,” which was the nickname of his grandfather.

“He was fun. He was hardworking. He was loyal,” Weiss’ father, also named Kevin, has said.

Hundreds of people gathered to remember Weiss at his funeral in December 2015.

Weiss attended McHenry public schools through fourth grade, and was then home-schooled until his sophomore year in high school. He then attended Christian Liberty Academy in Arlington Heights and graduated in 2001. It also was in McHenry that he met his future wife, Beth, through the Christian youth group Awana. He joined the Army at age 19, and married Beth the following year. After nine years working in intelligence, his father said, he decided to do something more adventurous. He ended up in aviation, said his mother, Susan Weiss, motivated by his grandfather, who was a pilot in World War II. Weiss went through the Army’s grueling Ranger school, and almost immediately after graduation went to flight school. He flew a tour of duty in Afghanistan. Weiss had two children: Lucas Mose and Susan Jane.

• The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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