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Akron Beacon Journal January 13, 2006

Ex-Stark man killed in Navy crash

Lt. Jason Manse, Central Catholic graduate, dies in training plane wreck

By Carl Chancellor

A 1993 Central Catholic High School graduate was among four people killed in a Navy flight training accident.

Navy officials said Lt. Jason S. Manse, 30, now of Omaha, Neb., died in the crash Tuesday of a T-39 Sabreliner in rugged, wooded terrain in Walker County, Ga.

Manse's parents are Ronald and Cindy Manse of Jackson Township.

The Rev. Robert Kaylor, principal of the high school in Perry Township, remembered Manse as an outstanding leader and athlete.

``I was devastated when I heard the news,'' he said. ``Jason was an exceptional young man. Everything he did was exceptional.''

The T-39 Sabreliner crew -- a civilian contract pilot, a Navy instructor (Manse), a Navy student and an Air Force student -- departed Chattanooga, Tenn., around 11 a.m. Tuesday on a routine training mission.

``The last radio contact we had with the plane was 11:20 a.m.,'' said Lt. j.g. Sean Robertson, information officer for the Naval Air Training Command in Corpus Christi, Texas. The plane was scheduled to arrive in Pensacola, Fla., its home base, around 3 p.m. Tuesday. It was attached to Training Squadron 86, Naval Air Station Pensacola.

Robertson said Navy searchers found the wreckage late Wednesday in a remote area within the Chattahoochie National Forest.

The cause of the crash is undetermined. A Navy mishap investigation team is at the scene.

The T-39 is the Air Force version of Rockwell's popular Sabreliner executive aircraft. It is manufactured by North American Sabreliner Corp. It can carry a maximum of nine passengers and crew. Its two Pratt & Whitney engines can bring the plane to a top cruising speed of 500 mph. The first Sabreliners went into Navy service in 1960.

Also killed were Ensign Elizabeth Bonn, 23, of Wilkes-Barre, Pa.; Air Force 1st Lt. Jason W. Davis, 28, of Vista, Calif.; and retired Navy Cmdr. Dave Roark, a 68-year-old contractor from Pensacola. There were no survivors.

Kaylor said he started receiving calls early Thursday morning about the accident.

Manse was president of his class for three years and, in his senior year, he was student council president, Kaylor said. Manse also starred on the track, basketball and football teams.

Kaylor said Manse flew aircraft for the Navy after graduating from Duke University, where he had attended on an ROTC scholarship.

``He was the All-American boy, just terrific... ,'' Kaylor continued.

``I feel devastated. His future was so bright.''

Beacon Journal staff writer Delano Massey and Globalsecurity.org contributed to this report.

Copyright 2006, Akron Beacon Journal