Cover image for A chain of events : the government cover-up of the Black Hawk Incident and the friendly fire death of Lt. Laura Piper
A chain of events : the government cover-up of the Black Hawk Incident and the friendly fire death of Lt. Laura Piper
Piper, Joan L.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Washington, D.C. : Brassey's, [2000]

Physical Description:
ix, 282 pages, 12 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, map ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DS79.755 .P56 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



On April 14, 1994, on a clear morning over northern Iraq's no-fly zone, two U.S. Air Force F-15 jets encountered two U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopters on a routine mission. Within ten minutes, the F-15s misidentified the helicopters and shot them down with fire-and-forget missiles. For three years, aircraft had patrolled these skies with a near-perfect safety record. Although the Black Hawk's downing was one of the worst air-to-air friendly fire incidents involving U.S. aircraft in military history, the Air Force would officially conclude the pilots had made a reasonable mistake.

One victim was ebullient twenty-five-old intelligence officer Laura Piper, in love with life and with being an Air Force lieutenant. Movingly written by her mother, A Chain of Events is the story of Laura's final flight and the Air Force's mishandling of the subsequent investigation. It is a story of duty, patriotism, a mother's devotion to a daughter's memory, and her family's disappointment in a beloved institution.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Piper is an educator in San Antonio, TX, whose daughter was on one of the two Black Hawk helicopters that were shot down over Iraq by U.S. Air Force F-15 jets in 1994. She decided to write this both as a catharsis and to expose the subsequent Air Force cover-up. "Friendly fire" casualties in combat have always been the horror of every family involved. There must be nothing worse than finding out that your child was killed by his or her own troops. This incident is even more tragic when you consider that Lt. Laura Piper did not even have orders to be on the helicopter in the "no fly zone." Piper traces the events that led up to the incident, then persuasively describes the Air Force's attempts to hide the truth. This book is similar to C.D.B. Bryan's Friendly Fire (1976) in detailing the families' anguish after such an event. Unfortunately, while weapons have been improved through technology, the soldier who must use those weapons has not. Recommended for both public and academic libraries.DMark Ellis, Albany State Univ., GA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.