Navy Helicopter Crashes Into Ocean

SAN DIEGO, USA - May 14, 2017: Unconditional Surrender sculpture (The Kiss). The statue resembles the photograph of VJ day in Times Square. In the background is the USS Midway Museum.

( – A Navy helicopter recently went down near the coast of San Diego, marking yet another incident in which a US military craft crashed while performing routine training exercises. All six people aboard survived. Investigators are still trying to determine the reason behind this most recent potential tragedy.

The accident occurred on January 11 just after 6:30 p.m. The US Coast Guard worked alongside the local fire department to respond to the scene. The craft, an MH-60R Seahawk, went down into the water, but a safety boat was already on site and ready to bring in the crew members. All reportedly received medical evaluations.

Lockheed Martin describes its MH-60R Seahawk as “rugged, powerful, and reliable.” It contains numerous advanced sensors including an infrared camera, dipping sonar, datalinks, and several modes of radar. It’s capable of tracking and engaging both ships and submarines and is armed with torpedoes, crew guns, and ground-to-air rockets and missiles.

The fallen craft belonged to Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 41, also called the “Seahawks,” based at Naval Air Station North Island. The location trains Naval Aviators and Naval Aircrewmen how to operate the sophisticated helicopter, which the US Navy calls “the world’s most advanced” platform of its kind. Its instructors have helped students complete 230,000 hours of successful flight time, boasting its mostly “mishap-free” record.

Despite the intensive training pilots and crew members receive, crashes still occur, and not all are as lucky as the ones on the Seahawks craft. The Air Force suspended a whole fleet of Osprey V-22 helicopters in December after a suspected operational failure led to eight servicemen dying in a crash near the coast of Japan. In November, an MH-60 Blackhawk experienced a problem during a refueling training exercise over the Mediterranean Sea, killing all five soldiers onboard.

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