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543USCG Air Station Sacramento C-130 and USMC AH-1W Super Cobra helicopter collide Oct. 29

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  • Phelps Hobart
    Oct 30, 2009
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      The USCG Air Station Sacramento is the adopted unit of the Sacramento Council. Our thoughts and prayers for all concerned.
       
      Additional posts as news unfolds.
       
      Phelps
      Phelps Hobart
      Web Yoeman, Pacific Central Region, NLUS
      Vice President, Sacramento Council, NLUS
      ________________________________________
       

      Military plane, helicopter collide off California

       
      AP
      Map locates San Clemente Island, Calif., where a search is being conducted after AP – Map locates San Clemente Island, Calif., where a search is being conducted after a Coast Guard plane …
      By THOMAS WATKINS, Associated Press Writer Thomas Watkins, Associated Press Writer– 28 mins ago

      SAN DIEGO – The U.S. Coast Guard and Navy were still hoping Friday to find survivors of a collision between a Coast Guard plane carrying seven people and a Marine Corps helicopter carrying two off the Southern California coast.

      The crash was reported at 7:10 p.m. Thursday, about 50 miles off the San Diego County coast and 15 miles east of San Clemente Island, Coast Guard spokeswoman Petty Officer Allyson Conroy said.

      A pilot reported seeing a fireball near where the aircraft collided, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said, and the Coast Guard informed the FAA that debris from a C-130 had been spotted. The Coast Guard plane that crashed was a C-130.

      The Coast Guard crew members had survival gear onboard their aircraft, including exposure suits that could have allowed them to survive in the water for hours, Petty Officer Henry Dunphy said Friday from San Diego.

      "We're hoping to find survivors," he said. "We're not ruling that out."

      At least seven Coast Guard and Navy ships and several helicopters continued a search that ran overnight under a bright moon in calm seas.

      "We've pretty much thrown everything we have at it right now," Dunphy said.

      The Coast Guard plane was based in Sacramento and was on a search-and-rescue mission when the collision occurred, Dunphy said. He did not have details of the mission.

      The AH-1W Super Cobra helicopter was on a training mission when it went down, said Cpl. Michael Stevens, a spokesman for the Miramar Marine Corps Air Station.

      The Cobra and its crew are part of Marine Aircraft Group 39, based at Camp Pendleton, and the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, which is headquartered at Miramar, Stevens said.

      San Clemente Island is the southernmost of the eight Channel Islands located 68 nautical miles west of San Diego. The Navy has owned and trained at San Clemente Island since 1934, according to the island's Web site. Naval Air Station, North Island is responsible for the island's administration.

      Earlier this week, it was an AH-1 Cobra attack helicopter that collided with a UH-1 helicopter over southern Afghanistan, killing four American troops and wounding two more, a Marine spokesman said.

      __________________________________________

      Coast Guard Plane Collides with Marine Chopper

      Nine are missing near San Clemente after witnesses saw a "fireball" in the sky.

      By MICHELLE WAYLAND
      Updated 8:20 AM PDT, Fri, Oct 30, 2009

      Rescue crews scoured the waters for nine people missing off San Diego’s coast Friday morning after a Coast Guard plane and a Marine Corps helicopter collided mid-air.

      The FAA says a pilot reported seeing a fire ball Thursday night after sundown about 45-miles off the North County coast and 15 miles east of San Clemente Island.

      Seven people from Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento were onboard the fixed-wing C-130 Coast Guard plane. Officials say the plane was engaged in a search and rescue mission when it collided around 7.10 p.m. with the AH-1W Super Cobra helicopter, which was flying from Camp Pendleton to a training area at San Clemente Island.

      "I can confirm that two Marine aviators were on the Cobra helicopter and right now we're in full cooperation with the Coast Guard as they conduct search and rescue operations," Major Jay De La Rosa said.

      Lockheed C-130E Hercules
       

      The Super Cobra, which belongs to Marine Aircraft Group 39 headquartered at Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton, was conducting a routine night exercise at the time of the crash, Coast Guard officials said.

      The Coast Guard crew members had survival gear onboard their aircraft, including exposure suits that could have allowed them to survive in the water for hours, officials said Friday.

      "The survivability is in the neighborhood of 19-20 hours or more depending on your body type and the equipment you’re wearing. We are not at this time basing our search efforts on survival

      The Coast Guard crew members had survival gear onboard their aircraft, including exposure suits that could have allowed them to survive in the water for hours, officials said Friday.

      "The survivability is in the neighborhood of 19-20 hours or more depending on your body type and the equipment you’re wearing. We are not at this time basing our search efforts on survival time," U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Thomas Farris said. "We’re always hopeful. We’re working very hard to make sure we cover every possibility and the assumption is always that they are alive."

      The Coast Guard searched through the night and sent three cutters and a helicopter to look for survivors. The Navy also had four vessels on scene and multiple helicopters.

      Friday morning Coast Guard officials said search and rescue efforts continued, but so far there were no signs of survivors or human remains and the debris field was substantial.

      “It's very dangerous out there. The water temperatures are extremely cold and they're doing their best to find out where these personnel are and recover them as quickly as possible," Rosa said.

      No one in that missing group of people has been identified publicly. Coast Guard officials say they believe all the families of the people involved have been notified of the situation.

      The cause of the collision is under investigation

       

       

       

       

       

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