Sailors Killed in Red Sea Helicopter Crash Identified | NBC 7 San Diego

Sailors Killed in Red Sea Helicopter Crash Identified

The helicopter squadron is based in San Diego

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    Photos Provided by Families
    Lt. Cmdr. Landon Jones (left) and Chief Warrant Officer Jonathon Gibson (right) were killed Sunday in a helicopter accident in the Red Sea.

    The Department of Defense has identified the two San Diego-based sailors killed in a helicopter crash.

    Lt. Cmdr. Landon L. Jones, 35, of Lompoc and Chief Warrant Officer Jonathan S. Gibson, 32, of Aurora, Ore. died Sunday in the Red Sea. The Navy called off the search for them Monday.

    Navy Calls Off Search for 2 Missing Aircrew

    [dgo]Navy Calls Off Search for 2 Missing Aircrew
    Two aircrew from a San Diego-based helicopter squadron are presumed dead after their MH-60 Knighthawk crashed Sunday in the Red Sea. NBC 7's military reporter Lea Sutton has the latest. (Published Monday, Sept. 23, 2013)

    Jones, Gibson and three other aircrew members were inside the MH-60 Knighthawk helicopter as it attempted to land on USS William P. Lawrence, a destroyer based out of San Diego.

    The cause of the crash is under investigation. But it’s believed a large wave caused the deck of the ship to pitch up as the helicopter was touching down, and that it slammed into the deck and rolled into the water.

    Knighthawk Chopper Crashes in Red Sea

    Knighthawk Chopper Crashes in Red Sea
    Two people were still missing after the NAS North Island-based helicopter crashed at sea. (Published Monday, Sept. 23, 2013)

    “Sometimes, you can have this rogue wave that comes,” said Captain Bryan Dudley, a Marine Corps helicopter pilot who has landed on ships. “The smaller the ship, the bigger the effect.”

    The three other sailors in the helicopter were found alive.

    The Knighthawk assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron Six, based out of North Island.

    USS William P. Lawrence is on standby for potential military action in Syria as part of the Nimitz strike group. The Navy said the helicopter crash was not the result of any hostile activity.

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