5 Killed In Jax-Based Navy Helicopter Crash

A Jacksonville-based Navy helicopter struck a power line during a training flight and crashed in a rugged area of the northern Nevada desert, killing all five crew members, the Navy said Tuesday.

Navy investigators were on the scene early Tuesday to recover the bodies.

The Navy SH-60F Seahawk flying out of Naval Air Station Fallon went down around 9:25 p.m. Monday Nevada time about 10 miles west of Austin, Nev. The Navy said they were on a routine training mission

"The helicopter was on a combat search and rescue exercise," NAS Fallon spokesman Zip Upham said. He said it struck a high-voltage transmission line, cutting the line.

The Navy has not released the names of the victims.

The aircraft is from the HS-7 squadron based at NAS Jacksonville. The squadron is part of Carrier Air Wing Three and normally assigned to the USS Harry S. Truman. According to Navy sources, the "Dusty Dogs" began a month-long training detachment in Nevada on April 30.

Upham said the crash occurred in an unpopulated area managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. He described the area as "rugged terrain, very remote."

Fallon, 60 miles east of Reno, is the home of the Navy's elite Strike and Air Warfare Center, formed in 1996 with the consolidation of the Navy fighter Weapons School known as "Top Gun" and the Carrier Airborne Early Warning Weapons School, or "Top Dome."

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