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Louis D. Stahl

Entered on Duty: 
1973-10-09
End of Watch: 
1992-06-13

On June 13, 1992, Border Patrol Pilot Louis Stahl was reportedly tracking a group of illegal aliens near the railroad tracks in a mountainous area near Sunland Park, New Mexico. According to witnesses, the Hughes OH6A helicopter, piloted by Agent Stahl, dropped down and snagged a string of power lines that hung approximately 300 feet above the tracks. The contact with the power lines tilted his aircraft to the right and into another set of utility lines. The helicopter was then thrown downward where it nose-dived into a nearby canyon, slamming upside down on the desert floor in a valley north of Mount Cristo Rey.

In the crash, the cockpit was demolished and Agent Stahl was pinned underneath the wreckage. After seeing the crash, the subjects who were observed by the pilot, reportedly raced a half-mile east to go get help at the American Eagle Brick Company, where workers dialed 911. The workers then drove to the site and attempted to lift the smashed aircraft off the pilot. Shortly thereafter, fire fighters, police, and Border Patrol agents arrived at the scene to render aid. The downed pilot was pulled from the wreckage where he was pronounced dead. The pilot's body was taken to Thomason General Hospital.

Agent Stahl was born in Lawton, Oklahoma. He began his career with the Border Patrol in 1973, where he served in Presidio, Texas. He later entered the Pilot Program at Marfa, Texas, in May 1978. He then transferred to El Paso Sector in July 1983, which was his last assignment.