Twitter Buttons

Thursday, February 23, 2012

LODD: Seven Marines Dead After Two Helicopters Collide Over California Desert

 Two military helicopters collided over the California desert during nighttime training exercises, killing seven Marines in the latest of several aircraft accidents involving Camp Pendleton troops.
Six of them were from Camp Pendleton and one was from Marine Corps Air Station Yuma in Arizona.

UH-1"Huey" helicopter. (Lance Cpl. Zachary L. Majors, US Marines)
The crash happened around 8 p.m. Wednesday and involved an AH-1W Cobra that carries two crew members and a UH-1 Huey utility helicopter carrying the other five service members, Lt. Maureen Dooley with Miramar Air Base in San Diego said Thursday.

The aircraft collided in a remote portion of the Yuma Training Range Complex on the California side of the Chocolate Mountains very close to the Arizona border, Dooley said. The exact location hasn't been confirmed.

The crash is under investigation and she had no details as to what could have occurred, Dooley said.

"We're still gathering a lot of details as the sun comes up," she said early Thursday.

It will be at least 24 hours before the Marine Corps releases the names of those killed, Dooley said.

The AH-1W carries a crew of two, a pilot and gunner, and is considered the Marine Corps' main attack helicopter. The UH-1Y, which is replacing the aging version of the Huey utility helicopter first used during the Vietnam War, carries a crew of one or two pilots, a crew chief and other crew members, depending on the mission.

The desert area is favored by the U.S. military and its allies for training because the hot, dusty conditions and craggy mountains replicate Afghanistan's harsh environment and the clear weather allows for constant flying.

Cpl. Steven Posy with Marine Corps Air Station Miramar said Thursday the weather "was pretty mild last night."

Rest of story at: Mercury News - Link  

Twitter links

****REMINDER**** Every fire has the ability to be catastrophic. The wildland fire management environment has profoundly changed. Growing numbers of communities, across the nation, are experiencing longer fire seasons; more frequent, bigger, and more severe, fires are a real threat. Be careful with all campfires and equipment.
View blog top tags