Friday, October 30, 2009
SAN DIEGO - The Coast Guard and Navy are responding to a mid-air collision between a Department of Defense helicopter and a Coast Guard airplane 15 miles east of San Clemente Island, Calif., Thursday evening. As many as nine people are believed to missing from the crash.
At 7:10 p.m. the Navy reported to the Coast Guard that they observed what appeared to be a mid-air collision in the vicinity of San Clemente Island.
The Coast Guard responded by sending three Coast Guard cutters, and diverting an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter to the area to search for survivors. The Navy sent four vessels and multiple helicopters to aid in the search.
The Coast Guard and Navy are actively searching for survivors at this time.
The Coast Guard plane was a C-130, a long-range surveillance and transport, fixed-wing aircraft that is used to perform a wide variety of missions. There were seven people aboard the plane.
The helicopter was an AH-1 Cobra, similar to the AH-1W Super Cobra, the helicopter that crashed near Alpine in May taking the lives of two Marine Corps pilots.
The AH-1 Cobra helicopter was part of the 3rd Marine Air Wing Light Attack Squadron. There were two pilots aboard the helicopter.
San Clemente Island, the southernmost of the eight Channel Islands, is 68 miles west of San Diego.