Tags: Brian Williams | NBC | Iraq | pilot

Pilot of Williams' Copter: Flight So Routine, We Chatted About Cars

By    |   Wednesday, 11 Feb 2015 12:12 PM

One of the pilots who flew the helicopter carrying NBC News anchor Brian Williams in Iraq in 2003 has revealed the full details of what happened during the trip, confirming to a newspaper that the plane was never under fire.

Allan Kelly was one of three pilots aboard the Chinook helicopter and said he wanted to set the record straight after Williams' false claims which lead to a six-month suspension from the network.
 
"Whatever Brian Williams may or may not be guilty of or what he may or may not have said, that's a reflection on him. It doesn't have anything to do with me … I did my job, and part of my job was to take Brian Williams and his crew on a mission," Kelly told Minnesota's Star Tribune.

The 44-year-old father of four reiterated that the aircraft did not come under fire at any time during what he described as a completely routine mission. He said he and Williams passed the time complaining about their cars.

He said that while they did not come under fire during the mission, they received a call on the radio notifying them that a helicopter flying roughly 30 minutes ahead of them had been hit by bullets and a rocket-propelled grenade.

The news forced Kelly and another Chinook pilot to turn their aircraft around in the middle of a sandstorm.

"We were sitting around talking about cars and I was complaining about the poor service I got at a Saturn dealership," Kelly told the Star. "Williams commented about the poor service he got at a Mercedes-Benz dealership."

He added: "I realized we were from two different worlds. He's a millionaire and I'm just a grunt," Kelly said. "We're not from the same neighborhood."

Williams' has also been under scrutiny for possibly misleading claims about a trip he took to Israel in 2006 and experiences he had in 2005 during his reporting of Hurricane Katrina.

NBC announced Williams' suspension on Tuesday night. Deborah Turness, president of NBC's news division, described Williams' exaggerations as "wrong and completely inappropriate."

"The suspension will be without pay and is effective immediately," she said in a note to staff.

"While on Nightly News on Friday, January 30, 2015, Brian misrepresented events which occurred while he was covering the Iraq War in 2003. It then became clear that on other occasions Brian had done the same while telling that story in other venues. That was wrong and completely inappropriate for someone in Brian's position.

"In addition, we have concerns about comments that occurred outside NBC News while Brian was talking about his experiences in the field."

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One of the pilots who flew the helicopter carrying NBC News anchor Brian Williams in Iraq in 2003 has revealed the full details of what happened during the trip, confirming to a newspaper that the plane was never under fire.
Brian Williams, NBC, Iraq, pilot
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2015-12-11
Wednesday, 11 Feb 2015 12:12 PM
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