Carrier Reagan Resumes Flight Ops After Sailors Injured in Helicopter Crash

A sailor assigned to Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 77 directs an MH-60R Sea Hawk as it launches from the flight deck of the Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) during Valiant Shield 2018, September 20, 2018. (U.S. Navy/Kenneth Abbate)
A sailor assigned to Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 77 directs an MH-60R Sea Hawk as it launches from the flight deck of the Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) during Valiant Shield 2018, September 20, 2018. (U.S. Navy/Kenneth Abbate)

Flight operations aboard the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan are back in full swing Friday following a helicopter crash on the ship's flight deck.

All flights have resumed, Navy officials announced within 12 hours of the crash, after an unspecified number of sailors were hurt when their MH-60R Sea Hawk made an emergency landing shortly after takeoff.

The mishap occurred in the Philippine Sea at about 9 a.m. local time. The Sea Hawk is assigned to the "Saberhawks" of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 77.

While all are in stable condition with no life-threatening injuries, some personnel were medically evacuated to a hospital in the Philippines, according to a Navy news release. The Reagan was conducting routine operations at the time of the crash.

The sailors' injuries ranged from minor cuts and abrasions to fractures. Those who were not sent to the Filipino hospital are being evaluated by medical staff aboard the carrier.

Families of the injured personnel have been notified, Navy officials said.

The cause of the incident remains under investigation. No additional information about the extent of the damage to the aircraft was immediately available.

The carrier remains "fully mission capable," according to the news release. The Ronald Reagan Strike Group is conducting security and stability operations in the Indo-Pacific region.

This is at least the third naval aviation mishap of fiscal 2019, which started Oct. 1.

On Oct. 9, two HH-60H Sea Hawk helicopters collided on a runway in Japan. No injuries were reported in either aircraft.

Five days prior, a Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet made an emergency landing in California after a fire broke out in its right engine during a training flight. A pilot and a weapons-systems officer were aboard the aircraft at the time. Neither was injured.

Both incidents remain under investigation.

-- Gina Harkins can be reached at gina.harkins@military.com. Follow her on Twitter at @ginaaharkins.

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