Coast Guard, Navy and Marine Corp continue search for downed aircraft

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Coast Guard, Navy, and Marine Corps continue the searching for survivors from two military aircraft that collided 15 miles east of San Clemente Island, Calif., Thursday, Oct. 29, 2009.

A Coast Guard C-130 Hercules aircraft, from Air Station Sacramento, was engaged in a search and rescue mission when it collided with an AH-1W Super Cobra helicopter, from the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing stationed at the Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, conducting a training mission.

The Navy reported to the Coast Guard that they observed what appeared to be a mid-air collision.

Coast Guard crews, as well as the Navy, have been searching through the night. Visibility in the vicinity of the search area is unlimited allowing for ideal search conditions.

The Coast Guard assets involved in the search are: an MH-60 “Jayhawk” helicopter and an MH-65 “Dolphin” helicopter, and the Cutters Edisto and Petrel, homeported in San Diego, Blackfin which is homeported in Santa Barbara, Calif., and Jarvis, homeported in Honolulu. The Cutters George Cobb, homeported in Long Beach, Calif. and Narwhal, homeported in Corona Del Mar, Calif. are currently en route to the area.

The Coast Guard is conducting an investigation to determine the cause of the accident. Efforts are focused on the search for survivors but servicemembers are also collecting debris to support the investigation.

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