Navy Helicopter Crashes On Deck Of USS Ronald Reagan

Anders Hagstrom | Justice Reporter

A U.S. Navy MH-60 Seahawk helicopter crashed onto the flight deck of the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier in the Philippine Sea on Friday, injuring several personnel who are now in stable condition.

The USS Ronald Reagan Strike Group was operating off the Philippine Coast at 9 a.m. when the Seahawk needed to make an emergency landing, Fox News reported. While the Navy confirmed the ship is still fully mission-ready, it did not detail any damage it or the helicopter sustained in the crash. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

“All injured personnel are in stable condition under evaluation by Ronald Reagan medical staff,” the Navy said in a statement to Fox News. “While some personnel will be medically evacuated ashore, none of the injuries is life-threatening.”

A SH-60 Seahawk military helicopter flies past USS Harry S. Truman at an undisclosed position in the Mediterranean Sea. [Reuters]

Three other U.S. Navy vessels sustained damage in collisions in the past two years, leading to the deaths of 17 Americans. A Japanese tug boat drifted into the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold in November 2017, causing only scrapes on the Benfold’s sides. The USS John McCain was struck by an oil tanker near Singapore in August 2017, killing 10 Americans, and the USS Fitzgerald collided with a Philippine-flagged container three times its size in June 2017, killing seven American sailors and crippling the vessel.

The 10 men who died on the USS John McCain were all posthumously promoted to their next rank, while an investigation was unable to find a direct cause for the collision. (RELATED: Federal 9/11 Victims Fund May Run Out Of Money Before Compensating All The Victims)

The U.S. military also grounded its entire fleet of premiere F-35 fighter jets after a faulty fuel line caused one to crash in South Carolina in September, just days after the new line of jets had flown its first combat mission. All the planes were grounded and inspected for 24 to 48 hours.

The F-35 had a notoriously troubled and lengthy development. At one point, activating the ejection seat would have been lethal to the pilot. The series is expected to cost taxpayers $1.5 trillion over its time in service. Each military branch has its own version of the F-35, with the Air Force version costing $89.2 million, the Marine F35-B at $115.5 million and the Navy F-35C at $107.7 million, according to ABC News.

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