5 U.S. Marines aboard a helicopter that went down throughout stormy climate within the mountains exterior San Diego are confirmed lifeless, a Marine commander stated Thursday.
It was the second deadly crash for Marines in Southern California involving a Sikorsky CH-53E Tremendous Stallion, a heavy elevate helicopter, within the final six years. The Marines stated an investigation into the newest crash is underway.
Authorities say the plane vanished late Tuesday whereas returning to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego after a routine coaching mission to Creech Air Pressure Base in Indian Springs, Nev., northwest of Las Vegas. The helicopter was flying into treacherous climate in California, which had been inundated with three days of relentless rain.
“It’s with a heavy coronary heart and profound disappointment that I share the lack of 5 excellent Marines from 3d Marine Plane Wing and the ‘Flying Tigers,’” Maj. Gen. Michael J. Borgschulte, commander of third Marine Plane Wing, stated in a press release.
The names of these killed won’t be launched till 24 hours after subsequent of kin are notified, officers stated.
“To the households of our fallen Marines, we ship our deepest condolences and commit to making sure your help and care throughout this extremely troublesome time,” Borgschulte stated. “Although we perceive the inherent dangers of army service, any lack of life is all the time troublesome.”
These aboard the flight had been assigned to Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 361, Marine Plane Group 16, in response to the Marines.
In a press release, President Biden stated he and First Woman Jill Biden “prolong our deepest condolences to their households, their squadron, and the U.S. Marine Corps as we grieve the lack of 5 of our nation’s most interesting warriors.” He additionally thanked the San Diego County Sheriff’s Division, the U.S. Air Pressure Auxiliary-Civil Air Patrol, and different federal, state, and native companies for serving to within the search and restoration efforts.
“Our service members symbolize the perfect of our nation — and these 5 Marines had been no exception,” Biden stated. “At this time, as we mourn this profound loss, we honor their selfless service and supreme sacrifice — and reaffirm the sacred obligation we bear to all those that put on the uniform and their households.”
Because the Marines had been flying again to their base Tuesday evening, visibility was poor due to snow, rain and gusty winds, in response to meteorologist Philip Gonsalves with the Nationwide Climate Service in San Diego. These situations would have been in play for many of the evening and into the morning, Gonsalves stated.
The craft was found Wednesday morning close to Pine Valley, within the Cuyamaca Mountains an hour’s drive from San Diego. The Marines stated an effort to get well the stays of the 5 has begun.
The California Division of Forestry and Fireplace Safety obtained phrase in regards to the lacking helicopter at 2:20 a.m. Wednesday and started the search within the space of Lake Morena, however their efforts had been hampered by heavy snow and dust, officers stated.
In 2018, 4 Marines died in a helicopter crash 15 miles west of El Centro. The crew flew out of a base in Twentynine Palms as a part of a coaching train on April 3 on the identical sort of heavy-lift helicopter that was reported lacking Wednesday, in response to a information launch from the third Marine Plane Wing.
Two years after the crash, the households of the 4 Marines sued the producers who provided elements to the army. A Marine Corps investigation into the crash dominated out pilot error and pointed to a bypass valve as the basis explanation for the crash, the information outlet Marine Corps Occasions reported when the lawsuit was filed.
The Related Press contributed to this report.