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Navy Crew in Stable Condition Following Hard Landing at North Island

Investigators are examining the MH-60R helicopter, which remains at the base. The air station resumed normal operations Thursday morning.

The four crew members injured in the hard landing at North Island Naval Air Station late Wednesday remain hospitalized, but are in stable condition, according to a Navy spokesman.

The crew, part of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 75, was injured when their MH-60R helicopter came down after they suffered what Lt. Aaron Kakiel of Naval Air Forces command called an “in-flight emergency.” 

It occurred during the landing, after what had been a routine training session.

The squadron operates out of North Island. The unidentified members of the crew are being treated at UCSD Medical Center and Scripps Mercy in San Diego.

The air station initially was closed to air traffic following the 11 p.m. incident. Normal operations resumed at 11 a.m. Thursday.

The damaged aircraft remains on the landing pad at North Island as investigators look into the cause of the accident. A report will take 30 days or more to complete before being submitted to the Naval Safety Center.

Kakiel said the landing has been classified as a “Class-A mishap,” or one that involves more than $2 million in damages or any loss of life.

According to its website, up until Wednesday, the Navy had not experienced any such severe mishaps in the current fiscal year.

The spokesman said the helicopter is valued at $28 million. Investigators will determine if it can return to service after Wednesday's incident.

The Navy said the aircraft is used for “anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, surveillance, communications relay, combat search and rescue, naval gunfire support and logistics support.”

It has been in service for six years. The Navy has 144 of the helicopters, inventory that is expected to double in the coming years.

Initial reports indicated that the helicopter had crashed and caused damage to a North Island building, but Kakiel said the information was incorrect.

“There was no damage to facilities or anything like that,” he said.

Federal fire crews responded to the incident, Kakiel said, but Coronado police said they were not summoned to provide aid.

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