Your Navy

Navy helicopters collide while taxiing

Two HH-60H Seahawks from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 85 ran into each other while taxiing on a ramp at Kadena Air Force Base, Japan, earlier this month.

It marks at least the second major mishap for the “Firehawks” this calendar year.

Few details were available this week on the Oct. 9 collision.

Naval Air Forces spokesman Cmdr. Ron Flanders said an investigation is underway to determine the extent and cost of the damages.

No one was injured in the incident, he said.

The mishap happened less than three months after a July 30 incident in which a HSC-85 helicopter crewman was killed in a fuel tank accident at Naval Air Station North Island near San Diego.

Naval Helicopter Aircrewman 1st Class Jonathan Richard Clement died after a auxiliary fuel tank weighing more than 1,500 pounds detached from a Seahawk, striking him and another sailor.

The accident occurred during so-called “hot pit, hot seat” training, in which crews practice switching out of an aircraft without shutting down the engines.

In such an exercise, sailors will quickly refuel, inspect an aircraft, replace the pilots or other personnel and get airborne again as fast as possible.

That other sailor suffered what Navy officials at the time called “minor injuries.”

The fatal incident remains under investigation.

Both HSC-85 incidents are classified as “Class A” mishaps, which involve loss of life, permanent debilitating injury or damage of more than $2 million to the aircraft.

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