Cindrich, Gregory Michael, Capt

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Last Rank
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
11AXX-Airlift Pilot
Last AFSC Group
Primary Unit
1997-1997, 11AXX, 305th Air Mobility Wing
Service Years
1991 - 1997

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
District Of Columbia
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Sgt S. Kimbrow to remember Cindrich, Gregory Michael, Capt.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Last Address
Alexandria, Virginia
Charleston AFB, North Carolina

Date of Passing
Oct 13, 1997
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Plot: Section 34 SIte 1758

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
Association of Graduates USAFAIn the Line of Duty
  1991, Association of Graduates USAFA
  2017, In the Line of Duty

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Captain Cindrich graduated from the USAFA in May 1991 with a B.S. in History. He completed his UPT assignment at Reese AFB, Texas. Upon graduation from UPT in 1992, he was assigned to Andrews AFB in the 89th Mission Support Squadron. During his tour, he earned several wing honors and finished his MBA while awaiting for a flight assignment cockpit.

In September 1995, he joined the 15th Airlift Squadron at Charleston AFB, N.C. as a C-141 pilot. He became a top-notch pilot and was especially proud of several humanitarian missions. Among them was the medical evacuation of several Khobar Towers bombing victims and the medical evacuation of an Air Korea crash survivor from Guam to a burn center.

On 26 September 1997, Gregory M. Cindrich was declared dead after a 13-day, multinational search-and-rescue effort in response to the mid-air collision of his C-141 and a German Air Force TU-154 off the coast of Africa. when his C-141 jet, based at McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey, collided with a German Air Force Tu-154 transport off the southwest coast of Africa. All nine crew members from the C-141 perished, along with all 24 crew members and passengers aboard the German jet. The German aircraft, flying at the wrong altitude,  was found to be at fault.

Those lost from the C-141 (# 65-9405):
Capt Peter C. Vallejo P/AC
Capt Gregory M. Cindrich P
Capt Jason S. Ramsey P
SSgt Robert K. Evans FE
SSgt Scott N. Roberts FE
Sra Gary A. Bucknam FE
SSgt Stacy D. Bryant LM
Amn Justin R. Drager LM
SrA Frankie L. Walker FCC

"The C-141 had flown from Ascension Island to deliver UN humanitarian supplies to Windhoek Namibia, in southwestern Africa. They were scheduled to return that evening. The German Air Force Tu-154M had departed Cologne for Capetown South Africa, with stops in Niamey Niger and Windhoek Namibia, The Tu-154 crew had filed a flight plan, in Niamey, requesting an initial cruise altitude of FL350 with a subsequent enroute climb to FL390. They received a small re-route while transiting the airspace of Gabon. The crew never requested the enroute climb and remained at FL350 for the duration of the flight.

Passing western Africa, the course of the Tu-154 changed from westerly to easterly, requiring a change in flight level to comply with international air traffic control procedures. Neither the Tu-154 aircrew nor African air traffic control agencies requested a change in altitude. The C-141 crew departed on the return leg for Ascension Island at 1611 local time (1411 GMT).

Shortly after level off; at FL350, the C-141 collided with the Tu-154, approximately 80 NM off the coast of Namibia. Cockpit voice recordings, from the Tu-154, indicated that someone in the German airplane spotted the Starlifter just moments before the collision, but not in time to maneuver away.

The Tu-154 struck the C-141 in the lower fuselage. A French Air Force aircraft, in the vicinity, heard a single "mayday" distress call. A US reconnaissance satellite reported a bright flash at position 18.8∞ South, 11.3∞ East at 1510 GMT, approximately one hour after the C-141 departed."


Captain Cindrich and his crew were interred in Arlington National Cemetery, Plot: Section 34 SIte 1758.

He was a husband and father of a little boy.
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 2017, In the Line of Duty
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Last Updated: Oct 13, 2017

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  • Breeden, Darnell Eric, MSgt, (1991-2010)
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