Pilot Officer George R. Carey

Pilot Officer George R. Carey

California Highway Patrol, California

End of Watch Wednesday, February 24, 1982

George R. Carey

Pilot Officer Carey and Officer Kenneth Archer were killed when their helicopter crashed. The officers were conducting a search mission in a remote desert area of San Bernardino County. The pilot, Officer Carey, became spatially disoriented due to a combination of factors and the aircraft impacted the ground at high speed, instantly killing both officers.

Officer Carey had served with the agency for 17 years.


  • Age 47
  • Tour 17 years
  • Badge 4044

Incident Details

  • Cause Aircraft accident

Most Recent Reflection

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The month prior to the crash George R. (Bob) Carey and I were flying as a crew. One evening after dark we were advised of several people who had gone hiking into the Black Canyon area earlier in the day, but had not returned home. One was a pregnant woman. So we lifted off from Daggett Airport to search for them. Black Mountain and the canyon are a few miles north of the site where the helicopter was to crash. Bob was flying and I was searching the darkness below for any sign of life. Bob had to fly well above the mountains to maintain a safe distance above the terrain so the search light was useless. Then I spotted a series of light flashes coming from the ground in the canyon. Bob spiraled down until tho searchlight became useful. With it I saw several people on the ground waiving frantically at us. Bob set the helicopter down safely in the canyon. They were the hikers we were looking for and we were able to provide them with badly needed water and comfort. I called the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department who I directed to our location. The hikers were driven out by the deputies then we lifted off and returned to Daggett. It turns out that the flashes that attracted my attention were from gunfire designed to do just that. Bob did a wonderful job piloting the helicopter that night. He had no difficulty maintaining reference to the ground and to his instruments.

California Highway Patrol Sergeant, Reti
California Highway Patrol

March 1, 2017

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