Helicopter crash on board USS Ronald Reagan

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Navy photograph by PO2 Kenneth Abbate

A Sailor assigned to Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 77 directs an MH-60R Sea Hawk as it launches from the flight deck of the Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) during Valiant Shield 2018. On Oct. 19, an MH-60 crashed on the Reagan’s flight deck. There were no fatalities.

A U.S. Navy MH-60 Seahawk helicopter crashed on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan Oct. 19, causing non-fatal injuries to a dozen sailors, the Navy said.

The Navy’s 7th Fleet said in a statement that the Seahawk crashed shortly after takeoff the morning of Oct. 19 while the carrier was off the Philippine coast.

All affected sailors were in stable condition and their injuries were non-life threatening, the Navy said, adding they ranged from minor abrasions and lacerations to fractures. The most seriously injured were airlifted to a hospital in the Philippines, it said.

Families of the injured were notified, the Navy said, while the carrier resumed flight operations.

Lt. Cmdr. Matt Knight, the Task Force 70 spokesman, told Stars and Stripes newspaper that four crew members were aboard the helicopter when the crash happened. He said 12 people were injured and the carrier sustained minimal damage.

The crash occurred while the Ronald Reagan Strike Group was conducting routine operations in the Philippine Sea, which spreads north and northeast of the Philippines. The cause was under investigation.

The Ronald Reagan Strike Group is forward-deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of security and stability in the Indo-Pacific Region. The carrier participated in the international naval review hosted off the South Korean island of Jeju last week.