Otay Mesa

Two Helicopters Collide Mid-Air Near Brown Field in Otay Mesa

The incident occurred just after 6 p.m. Tuesday, near Brown Field, in San Diego's Otay Mesa neighborhood

9-19-17-Brown Field Municipal Airport Google Maps
Google Maps

Two helicopters, a U.S. Navy MH-60R Seahawk and a private UH-60A Firehawk used by SDG&E for firefighting efforts, collided with each other in mid-air near San Diego's Brown Field Tuesday evening.

First responders from the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department and Cal Fire San Diego responded to reports of an aircraft crash at Brown Field just after 6 p.m., however, most units were released shortly after arriving.

An MH-60R helicopter assigned to the Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 41 had three crewmembers onboard when it made contact with a non-navy helicopter while in the air, according to CDR. Zach Harrell, a spokesperson for Commander, Naval Air Forces.

"Both aircraft landed safely and there were no injuries to personnel," said ENS. Bryan Blair, Assistant Public Affairs Officer for Commander, Naval Air Forces. "The incident is under investigation.”

The FAA originally reported the incident as involving a U.S. Forest Service firefighting aircraft, however, the agency later confirmed the tail number of the aircraft as N160AQ, which according to FAA registration records is a privately owned helicopter contracted by SDG&E for firefighting efforts.

sdge black hawk helicopter
NBC 7 San Diego
An October 2019 photo of C129, a Blackhawk helicopter contracted by SDG&E for firefighting response, with tail number N160AQ.

“We have been made aware of the incident by our contractor who owns and operates the aircraft and the most important thing is that all parties are safe," an SDG&E spokesperson said.

In an August 2019 news release, SDG&E described the aircraft as "an additional fire suppression helicopter [that] has been contracted for year-round, rapid response dispatch by CAL FIRE."

It is not clear how much damage either aircraft sustained.

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