The USS Ronald Reagan has resumed flight operations Friday morning after a mysterious incident where a MH-60R Seahawk helicopter crashed while making an emergency landing on the ship's flight deck shortly after taking off at 9 am on Oct. 19. The Navy said it is investigating the crash after the helicopter, a member of the "Saberhawks" Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron, crash landed shortly after lifting off from the ship's deck at approximately 9 am on Oct. 19.
The carrier, a member of the Navy's 7th fleet, was situated off the coast of the Philippines at the time of the crash.
All the sailors injured in the incident were said to be in stable condition and their injuries were non-life threatening, the Navy said. They ranged from minor abrasions and lacerations to fractures. The most seriously injured were airlifted to a hospital in the Philippines.
A Navy spokesman told Stars and Stripes that four crew were aboard the helicopter when the crash happened. In total, 12 people were injured and the carrier sustained some damage. The helicopter crashed during "routine operations" in the Philippine Sea, after the carrier participated in an international naval review near a South Korean island last week.
Meanwhile, Stars and Stripes reported Friday in a different article that the Navy is investigating the cause of another crash involving a HH-60H Seahawk helicopter, which crashed into another helicopter on an Okinawa runway on Oct. 9.
That crash, which involved helicopters from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 85, happened at Kadena Air Base. Details were said to be scarce but the investigation is ongoing. Fortunately, there were no injuries in the Oct. 9 incident, but the crash was reported as a Class A mishap, meaning that the damage was either more than $2 million, or at least one of the aircraft is a total loss.
Oddly enough, that was the second Class A mishap reported by the Navy this year this year. On Oct. 4, an F/A-18F Super Hornet made an emergency landing at Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif., after an engine caught fire during a training exercise. Luckily, nobody was hurt.
While certainly of a much smaller scale, the crashes are eerily reminiscent of the mysterious collisions of US Naval ships last year, which raised questions about the Navy's honesty in sharing details of the incident - with some even speculating that foreign hackers may have temporarily seized control of the ships involved. Ultimately, the accidents were blamed on human error.