USA: helicopter crashes, five deaths
Confirmation comes from the US Marine Corps
The United States Marine Corps confirmed today that five US soldiers have died after the Sikorsky CH-53E "Super Stallion" amphibious military helicopter (registration 164366) they were on board crashed to the ground. The accident occurred in recent days in a remote area of California, during a training mission carried out at night. The armed forces have launched an investigation to clarify the dynamics and causes of the crash.
According to an initial reconstruction of the accident, the helicopter had taken off from the US Air Force base in Creech, near Las Vegas, and was headed towards the Marine base in Miramar, near San Diego. The accident occurred when the aircraft was almost reaching its destination, during the night of Tuesday 6 February. The crew belonged to Heavy Helicopter Squadron 361 of Marine Aircraft Group 16.
The alarm was raised when the base noticed that the helicopter was late in arriving and the pilot was not responding to communications and the search began immediately. The aircraft was spotted Wednesday morning in Pine Valley, a mountainous area about 30 miles east of the San Diego military base. The armed forces said the search was hampered by heavy snow.
AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency