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Funeral for Academy grad, helicopter crash victim to be Jan. 27

Sarah Stover, widow of Capt. Christopher Stover, 56th Rescue Squadron HH-60G Pave Hawk pilot, pays her final respects to her fallen husband at a memorial service Jan. 17, 2014. The memorial service was held to honor Capt. Sean Ruane, Capt. Christopher Stover, Tech. Sgt. Dale Mathews and Staff Sgt. Afton Ponce, 56th Rescue Squadron, who were killed during an HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter crash while performing a low-level training mission on the Norfolk coast Jan. 7, 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Dana J. Butler/Released)

Sarah Stover, widow of Capt. Christopher Stover, 56th Rescue Squadron HH-60G Pave Hawk pilot, pays her final respects to her fallen husband at a memorial service Jan. 17, 2014. The memorial service was held to honor Capt. Sean Ruane, Capt. Christopher Stover, Tech. Sgt. Dale Mathews and Staff Sgt. Afton Ponce, 56th Rescue Squadron, who were killed during an HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter crash while performing a low-level training mission on the Norfolk coast Jan. 7, 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Dana J. Butler/Released)

Royal Air Forces Lakenheath and Mildenhall Airmen and their families salute during a memorial service as the colors are presented by the Lakenheath honor guard, Jan. 17, 2014. The memorial service was held in honor of Capt. Sean Ruane, Capt. Christopher Stover, Tech. Sgt. Dale Mathews and Staff Sgt. Afton Ponce, 56th Rescue Squadron, who were killed in an HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter crash while performing a low-level training mission on the Norfolk coast, Jan. 7, 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Trevor T. McBride/Released)

Royal Air Forces Lakenheath and Mildenhall Airmen and their families salute during a memorial service as the colors are presented by the Lakenheath honor guard, Jan. 17, 2014. The memorial service was held in honor of Capt. Sean Ruane, Capt. Christopher Stover, Tech. Sgt. Dale Mathews and Staff Sgt. Afton Ponce, 56th Rescue Squadron, who were killed in an HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter crash while performing a low-level training mission on the Norfolk coast, Jan. 7, 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Trevor T. McBride/Released)

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- A 2008 graduate who died this month in a helicopter accident off the English coast will be laid to rest here Jan. 27.

A funeral service for Capt. Christopher Stover will occur at 10 a.m. at the Cadet Catholic Chapel, followed by interment at the Academy Cemetery.

On Jan. 7, Stover, 28, along with Capt. Sean Ruane, Tech. Sgt. Dale Mathews and Staff Sgt. Afton Ponce were killed during an HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter crash while performing a low-level training mission on the Norfolk coast.

Stover was assigned to the 48th Fighter Wing, Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England.
According to the Air Force, the crash occurred about 6 p.m. near Salthouse, England, approximately 50 miles from the base. During the mission, Stover and Ruane were the pilots and Mathews and Ponce were the special mission aviators.

Stover, a native of Vancouver, Wash., served in Iraq and Afghanistan before his current three-year deployment in England. Stover was in the same class as Capt. David Lyon, who was killed in Afghanistan Dec. 27.

While here, Stover majored in physics and ran cross country during his during senior year.

Dr. Geoff Andersen, senior researcher here with the Laser and Optics Research Center, said he worked with Stover while he was a cadet, researching holographic adaptive optics using computer generated holograms.

"The work is designed to improve surveillance imaging through the atmosphere as well as directed energy weaponry," he said. "The system we developed was a completely new technology which has since advanced to field trials and is being adopted by many groups around the world."

Andersen said Stover was a remarkable student with a gift for innovative thinking and problem solving.

"He was a delight to teach and I hoped that he would one day be able to return to the field of physics, for which he had a real gift," he said.

Stover is survived by his wife, Sarah Stover, and his parents Richard and Maribel Stover.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation.