As the MH-60S helicopter touched down on the USS Abraham Lincoln, it experienced “side-to-side vibrations causing [the] main rotor to strike [the] flight deck,” before falling overboard, according to a center mishap report.
The crash occurred on Sept. 1 roughly 60 nautical miles off the coast, and it led to a joint Navy and Coast Guard rescue operation, which was called off on Saturday when the Navy declared them deceased.
The Navy announced the identities of the five service members who died: Lt. Bradley A. Foster, 29, a pilot from Oakhurst, California; Lt. Paul R. Fridley, 28, a pilot from Annandale, Virginia; Naval Air Crewman 2nd Class James P. Buriak, 31, from Salem, Virginia; Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Sarah F. Burns, 31, from Severna Park, Maryland; and Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Bailey J. Tucker, 21, from St. Louis, Missouri.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of five Sailors and those injured following the MH-60S helicopter tragedy off the coast of Southern California,” Adm. Mike Gilday, the chief of naval operations, said in a statement. “We stand alongside their families, loved ones, and shipmates who grieve.”
Five additional sailors were hurt in the incident. Two had to be transported ashore for treatment, while the other three suffered minor injuries and were able to remain on the ship.
The helicopter operators were "conducting routine flight operations" at the time of the accident. There is an investigation underway.
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Original Author: Mike Brest
Original Location: Navy helicopter rotor hit flight deck in incident that killed five sailors