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Multi-Service Aircrew
10 January 2006
Jason Scott Manse
Lieutenant, United States Navy

January 13, 2006:

A Pensacola resident was among those killed earlier this week when a Navy jet crashed in rural Georgia.
Navy officials identified the passengers as:

Commander Dave Roark, USN (Retired), contractor, 68, Pensacola, Florida
Lieuenant Jason Manse, USN, 30, Omaha, Nebraska
Ensign Elizabeth Bonn, USN, 23, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
First Lieutenant Jason Davis, USAF, 28, Vista, California

The missing aircraft belonged to Training Squadron 86 and a search was immediately initiated after it failed to return to Naval Air Station Pensacola at the conclusion of a routine training flight. The aircraft wreckage was located Wednesday evening in Walker County, Ga.

A Georgia State Patrol Helicopter assisting in the search operation discovered the aircraft crash site. The wreckage was found in the remote, heavily wooded and rugged terrain of the Chattahoochie National Forest. The cause of the accident is under investigation. A Navy mishap investigation team is on location at the crash site.

"Navy investigators are on the scene. The investigation, recovery and other aspects related to that are underway. That began from the moment they arrived," said Cmdr. Kevin Aandahl in an Associated Press report.

Aandahl, a spokesman for Naval Air Station Pensacola where the plane was based, noted that determination of an official cause of the crash would likely take months.


Duke alumnus killed in Navy plane crash
Jason Manse, 30, was one of four crewmembers killed in Tuesday’s crash of a training aircraft headed to Pensacola
Friday, January 13, 2006

Jason Manse, a 1997 graduate of Duke University, was one of four crewmembers killed in Tuesday’s crash of a T-39 Sabreliner attached to Pensacola Naval Air Station.

Alumni

Manse, 30, of Canton, Ohio, was a Navy Lieutenant and instructor on the training aircraft, which was on a one-day routine training mission to Chattanooga, Tennessee, according to news reports.

While at Duke, Manse was a four-year letter winner on the track & field team. He also was in the Navy ROTC at Duke.

"Jason Manse was one of the finest young men, out of a large number of fine men, that I've had the pleasure to coach here at Duke," said track coach Norm Ogilvie. "His time at Duke was part academic, part track and part Navy ROTC, a commitment he shared with a couple of Duke track teammates. All in the Duke track family are devastated by his passing and grieve over the loss of a life so full yet so tragically short."

Manse was scheduled to get out of the Navy in July and was recently accepted to the University of Florida Dental School, where he planned to start in August. His wife, Tammy, is expecting a baby this summer.

He is also survived by his parents, Robert and Cindy Manse, and his brother, Aaron.

According to news reports, the crew refueled the aircraft in Chattanooga and departed for Pensacola about 11 a.m. Tuesday. Twenty minutes later, the crew radioed in that they were nearing the entry point of their low-level route where two navigator students could begin their visual navigation training, officials said.

That was the last time anyone heard from the crew. The cause of the crash has not been determined, according to news reports.


Jason Manse gave his three-months-pregnant wife a kiss -- just as he did every morning -- and departed for Pensacola Naval Air Station.

It was 4:30 a.m. Tuesday -- the last time Tammy Trommelen Manse, 35, saw her husband and the father of their unborn first child.

The 30-year-old Navy lieutenant called her at 6:30 a.m. and said the T-39 Sabreliner to which he was assigned for a training flight soon would take off for Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Jason had two students -- the three belonged to Training Squadron 86 -- on board for the visual navigation training flight. Retired Navy Commander Dave Roark, 68, of Pensacola was the pilot.

Jason called Tammy again at 9:45 a.m. They had refueled in Chattanooga and in an hour would begin their flight home -- a low-level route. Jason always called Tammy before he took off and as soon as he landed -- an agreement between the two to ease her worries.

That afternoon, Tammy waited and waited for Jason's "safely landed" call.

"I know my husband loved me and that if there was any way he could contact me and get home, he would," Tammy said Friday.

The plane never returned.

Late Wednesday, a search-and-rescue helicopter found the Sabreliner's wreckage in the remote, heavily wooded and rugged terrain of the Chattahoochee National Forest in northwest Georgia. There were no survivors.

The miracle Tammy and the couple's friends and family were hoping for did not occur.

"He loved what he did," Tammy said, her eyes full of tears. "He also loved me and our life. He was so excited about our baby."

She's from Pensacola, having met Jason in San Diego, where she was working as dietitian. From their first date on Oct. 7, 2001 -- Jason remembered and celebrated every anniversary the couple had -- they knew they were right for each other.

"We really did," she said. "It was wonderful."

Seven months after their first date, the athletic couple were jogging in San Diego's Balboa Park when they agreed to run their separate routes and meet at a fountain familiar to both. Jason ran track when he was a student at Duke University and was much faster than his girlfriend.

As Tammy ran, she suddenly saw Jason running toward her.

"He twirled me and got down on his knee," she said, "and asked me to marry him."

The proposal was supposed to occur that weekend at a spa north of San Diego, but "he said he couldn't wait to give me the ring."

Soon after, the couple traveled to Paris on a whim after Jason saw an article in a newspaper about the romantic city. It was before his impending deployment to the Middle East.

During his deployment, she was all he could talk about, said his good friend, Navy Lt. Cmdr. Steve Ready, 39.

"All he could think about was getting home and getting married," said Ready, a pilot based at the naval air station in New Orleans. The couple visited him last weekend.

"His heart was stolen," Ready said.

At the cost of $1 a minute, the couple agreed that Jason would call only once a week during his deployment.

"He called about every two days," Tammy said. "It was nice to hear his voice, even if only for five minutes."

Upon his return, the couple, surrounded by 50 family members and friends, were wed on the Caribbean island of St. John. She picked the wedding song, "It Feels Like Home."

He surprised her and sang it to her -- "And if you knew how happy you are making me, I never thought that I would love anyone so much. ... It feels like I'm all the way back where I belong."

He practiced it during the cruise and asked a friend who played the piano to learn the tune.

Was he a singer?

"It was cute and very sweet," Tammy said.

But was he good?

"He was nervous."

But that's how much he loved her.

He was the kind of guy who would leave "I love you" Post-it notes on their coffee pot a couple of times a week. He gave her "Mother's Day" cards from their two golden retrievers, Gracie and Whaley.

He also left her phone messages, wishing her a good day at work because he often would leave for work while she was still sleeping. She saved as many messages as she could on her cell phone. She currently has 10. The first one wished her a "happy Tuesday."

In September 2003, the couple moved to Pensacola. Jason requested that he be assigned to Pensacola as an instructor. The couple wanted to have a child, and Tammy wanted her family to know Jason.

When they found out about the pregnancy around Thanksgiving, Jason suggested that the family play charades. He acted out a pregnant woman.

Around that time, after two years of applications, Jason was accepted to dental school and was going to start this fall at the University of Florida, much to the chagrin of Tammy, a Florida State Seminole. He was ready to leave the Navy to spend more time with his growing family.

"That's my favorite memory of him," Ready said. "It was fun listening to him be so excited. Everything was finally coming together for them."

Tammy said the last two months were the best.

"I just wish our baby would be able to know how wonderful (Jason) was in person," she said. "He is the best person I have ever met, and I feel like people say that all the time, but he truly was. I loved him for his pureness."

Ready said he will miss his friend more than "I can communicate. He was extremely caring. He looked out for others more than himself."

As for Tammy and Jason, "they were a love story. I don't think it gets much better than that."

Nebraska State Flag
Jason William Davis
First Lieutenant, United States Air Force

An Air Force officer was among four killed January 10, 2006, in the crash of a T-39 Sabreliner training aircraft in Walker County, Georgia.

First Lieutenant Jason Davis, 28, was a student navigator with Training Squadron 86 at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida. He entered the Air Force on November 14, 2001.

The others killed are Navy Lieutenant Jason Manse, an instructor, Navy Ensign Elizabeth Bonn, a student, and retired Navy Commander. Dave Roark, a civilian contract pilot.

The downed aircraft belonged to Training Squadron 86 and a search was immediately initiated after it failed to return to NAS Pensacola at the conclusion of a routine training flight. The wreckage was located January 11, 2006.

The cause of the accident is under investigation.

California State Flag
Elizabeth Bonn
Ensign, United States Navy


Elizabeth Bonn, 23, and three others died Tuesday morning during a training exercise. The craft’s wreckage was found in Georgia.

A 23-year-old Wilkes-Barre native and Coughlin High School graduate died Tuesday in a U.S. Navy flight training crash.

Ensign Elizabeth Bonn was one of two students in the four-man crew when the jet crashed into a remote hillside in northwest Georgia, U.S. Navy Cmdr. Kevin Aandahl said Thursday evening.

“She was in the training pipeline to be winged,” Aandahl said, “I believe as a navigator.”

Ensign Bonn’s parents, Debbie and Thomas Bonn, traveled to Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla., where their daughter had been stationed, Aandahl said. They were declining interviews with the media.

Ensign Bonn, a 2000 graduate of Coughlin High School, was killed with Navy Lieutenant Jason E. Manse, 30, of Omaha, Nebraska; Air Force First Lieutenant Jason W. Davis, 28, of Vista, California; and retired Navy Commander Dave Roark, 68, a private contractor pilot from Pensacola, Florida.

All four were making a round trip training exercise from Pensacola to Chattanooga, Tenn. Aandahl said he wasn’t sure of Ensign Bonn’s specific role, but that she was most likely conducting navigation exercises. They were flying a Navy Sabreliner T-39 jet belonging to Training Squadron 86 based in Pensacola.

Ground crews lost contact with the jet at about 11:20 Tuesday morning, and a massive search was conducted, covering a swath of Georgia, Tennessee and Alabama.

A Georgia State Patrol Helicopter spotted the crash site Wednesday evening at about 10 p.m. on Johns Mountain near the town of Villanow, about 30 miles south of Chattanooga., according to CNN. A press release said the crash site was “in the remote, heavily wooded and rugged terrain of the Chattahoochie National Forest.” A “Navy mishap investigation team” was dispatched to the site to determine the cause of the crash.

While the jet lost contact Tuesday morning and was found Wednesday night, the Navy did not release names of victims until Thursday evening because it is policy “to wait 24 hours after next of kin have been notified,” Navy Spokesman Lieutenant Herb Josey said.

A friend of the Bonn family, who did not want his name published, said both parents have been heavily involved in the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America, and that Ensign Bonn had earned the Girl Scout’s highest honor, the Gold Medal. She also played soccer, softball and field hockey in high school. She went straight from Coughlin to the New York Maritime Academy, where she earned her commission before pursuing flight training. She was expected to earn her wings in the next few months.

The jet was apparently practicing low-level bombing runs at the time of the crash. Captain Lee Little, a pilot in charge of Training Wing 6 based at Pensacola, said the plane would have been flying at between 500 and 1,000 feet.

“They are practicing running at a low level to a target and dropping the bombs,” Little said. “We don’t carry bombs on these aircraft, but they are simulating what they would be doing in a tactical aircraft.”

Sabreliners are used for training navigators and other non-pilot air crew officers for the Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and foreign military services.

This might be the first training mishap for Squadron 86 in a quarter century. According to information at www.globalsecurity.org, the squadron “has logged more than 332,000 mishap-free flight hours and has the distinction of maintaining the longest documented accident-free period of any active flying squadron in aviation history.”

The site also says that naval flight officers who complete training with the squadron “go on to fly either the S-3 Viking, EA-6B Prowler, F-18 Hornet, or the F-14 Tomcat.”

Pennsylvania State Flag
MANSE, JASON S
LT   US NAVY
PERSIAN GULF
DATE OF BIRTH: 03/22/1975
DATE OF DEATH: 01/10/2006
BURIED AT: SECTION 41  SITE 1626
BARRANCAS NATIONAL CEMETERY
NAVAL AIR STATION, 80 HOVEY ROAD PENSACOLA, FL 32508

MANSE, JASON SCOTT
LT   US NAVY
DATE OF BIRTH: 03/22/1975
DATE OF DEATH: 01/10/2006
BURIED AT: SECTION MH  SITE 382

ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
DAVIS, JASON WILLIAM

1LT   US AIR FORCE
DATE OF BIRTH: 07/07/1977
DATE OF DEATH: 01/10/2006
BURIED AT: SECTION MH  SITE 382
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
BONN, ELIZABETH ANN

ENS   US NAVY
DATE OF BIRTH: 01/25/1982
DATE OF DEATH: 01/10/2006
BURIED AT: SECTION MH  SITE 382
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY

BONN, ELIZABETH ANN
ENS   US NAVY
DATE OF BIRTH: 01/25/1982
DATE OF DEATH: 01/10/2006
BURIED AT: OAKLAWN CEMETERY
 1250 SOUTH MAIN ST HANOVER TWP JERRY DANEY WILKES-BARRE, PA 18706


ROARK, DAVID LEROY SR
CDR   US NAVY
VIETNAM
DATE OF BIRTH: 05/24/1937
DATE OF DEATH: 01/10/2006
BURIED AT: SECTION 51  SITE 658
BARRANCAS NATIONAL CEMETERY
NAVAL AIR STATION, 80 HOVEY ROAD PENSACOLA, FL 32508

ROARK, DAVID LEROY
CDR   US NAVY
DATE OF DEATH: 01/10/2006
BURIED AT: SECTION MH  SITE 382
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY

Posted:  15 September 2006   .