ALTOONA, BLAIR COUNTY - 27 year old Jessica S. Conkling died during a helicopter crash late Tuesday night near San Diego, California. Conkling was a Captain in the United States Marine Corps and a 1999 graduate of State College High School. She and a second pilot, Aaron D. Cox of Pulaski, Arkansas were on a night time training exercise when the AH-1W Super Cobra they were flying went down in the Cleveland National Forest. Cox also died in the crash.
Conkling was commissioned in the Marine Corps on December 10, 2004. She reached the rank of Captain on January 1, 2009. Her personal decorations include a Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, a Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and a National Defense Service Medal.
The cause of the crash is still under investigation.