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  John Blaha and 2001 Czech helicopter accident

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Author Topic:   John Blaha and 2001 Czech helicopter accident
ColinBurgess
Member

Posts: 1669
From: Sydney, Australia
Registered: Sep 2003

posted 07-13-2014 09:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Back in October 2001, Gene Cernan was slightly injured in a helicopter accident (his second) along with Czech cosmonaut Vladimir Remek and some others when their Russian-built helicopter crash-landed while Cernan and John Blaha, both with Czech ancestry, were visiting that country. Initial reports stated that Blaha was not on the Mi-8S helicopter, although there was a report on the collectSPACE website on 1 November 2001 saying that Czech radio had updated its reports and that Blaha was indeed involved in the crash and had been slightly injured.

I have tried to find any confirming reports that Blaha was indeed on the helicopter that day, but so far without success. Does anyone know for sure? I tried looking at Cernan's book, but it was published two years before the event.

Lasv3
Member

Posts: 274
From: Bratislava, Slovakia
Registered: Apr 2009

posted 07-14-2014 01:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lasv3   Click Here to Email Lasv3     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'd just like to comment the ancestries nationality of Gene Cernan and Vladimir Remek.

Gene Cernan's grandfather was Slovak and his grandmother was Czech, so we in Slovakia are very proud that someone with the Slovak roots walked on the moon — as are our Czech brothers in the same way.

Regarding Vladimir Remek — he was literally the Czechoslovak cosmonaut. His father General Remek (commander of the Czechoslovak Air Force) was Slovak and his mother was Czech, which fact I suspect contributed slightly to his selection for the prime crew — in those times it played the role politically — both nations in our country were happy.

alanh_7
Member

Posts: 1027
From: Ajax, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 07-15-2014 08:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for alanh_7   Click Here to Email alanh_7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
John Blaha sometimes does the astronaut encounter program at both the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and Space Center Houston. I note he in Houston in September. I saw him at Kennedy last November.

He gives an excellent talk and Q&A. I wonder if any collectSPACE members were attending his encounter dates at Space Center Houston, if he or she could simply ask him for you?

ColinBurgess
Member

Posts: 1669
From: Sydney, Australia
Registered: Sep 2003

posted 07-15-2014 05:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That would be tremendous if someone could do that for me. My personal feeling, after scouring literally hundreds of reports in English and translated Czech, is that the Czech Radio amendment to the story is incorrect and Blaha was not on the helicopter, just Remek, Cernan and 10 others including the crew.

alanh_7
Member

Posts: 1027
From: Ajax, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 07-15-2014 09:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for alanh_7   Click Here to Email alanh_7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
John Blaha seemed very approachable, I am sure if someone would ask him out right he would likely be willing to answer a question like that. It is an incident he likely would not forget.

As a fall back, I also suspect Gene Cernan could answer the question. He will be at the ASF show in November and is always willing to answer questions.

All times are CT (US)

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