This Huey helicopter is similar to one involved in a fatal collision Wednesday. Image: mashleymorgan/Flickr/CC BY-SA

Seven marines lost their lives in a midair collision between two helicopters Wednesday night near the California/Arizona border. The collision is only the most recent accident affecting Marine Corps personnel in the area.

Cobra versus Huey, midair

Six of the victims of the accident were members of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, based out of Camp Pendeleton in Southern California. One was stationed in Yuma, Ariz. According to Marine spokesperson Lt. Maureen Dooley, the collision occurred at about 8 p.m. Pacific time on Wednesday. The aircraft involved in the collision were an AH-1W Cobra and a UH-1 Huey. There were two Marines in the “Cobra,” and five in the “Huey.”

The crash happened in an isolated section of the Yuma Training Range Complex near the Chocolate Mountains, not far from Yuma. It occurred during routine training operations.

Names not yet released

Dooley said the names of the deceased will not be released until Friday at the earliest, pending the investigation.

She said:

“We won’t know exactly what happened until the investigation is complete, and we can’t make any assumptions right now.”

The soldiers killed were preparing for deployment to Afghanistan. The region is a popular one for military training because its harsh desert conditions closely resemble those in Afghanistan.

Preparation for deployment in Afghanistan

The consistent and generally calm weather allows for flight at nearly any time of the day, another reason the area is useful for military training. The weather is not considered a factor in the collision.

Corporal Steven Posy, with the Marine Corps, said Thursday:

“(The weather) was pretty mild last night.”

Governor reacts

Jan Brewer, the governor of Arizona, said in statement Thursday:

“This tragedy serves as another stark and sad reminder of the peril our men and women in uniform encounter on a daily basis — not only abroad, but on our own soil. It also reminds us that, whether in combat or training, no military mission is ever routine. We must never take for granted nor forget these soldiers’ sacrifice and service to the United States of America.”

Other training-related Marine accidents

This is only the most recent of accidents involving Marine Corps personnel while training. Over the past several months, there have been several. Two Marines were killed in September during a training exercise when their helicopter went down. The subsequent crash started a brush fire that raced dangerously toward Camp Pendelton.

Last August, two Marines ended up in chilly ocean water for four hours after being forced to eject from their plummeting F/A-18 Hornet fighter jet. The Marines were rescued and survived with some injuries. Another Marine, this one highly decorated, was killed when his UH-1Y helicopter crashed at Camp Pendleton in July.


USA Today

Post By bryanh (1,420 Posts)


Do you have a fantastic idea related to this article, but just don't have the money you need to start your own company or side-business? Get the loans you need from to help get your new company underway, from the small loan professionals at PersonalMoneyNetwork.

PG&E to pay $70 million for pipeline tragedy

PG&E to pay $70 million for pipeline tragedy

Pacific Gas and Electric Co., a northern California utility, has agreed to pay $70 million to the California town of San Bruno for a pipeline explosion that killed eight people in 2010. Company says it’s remorseful The San Francisco-based power company’s president, Chris Johns, released a statement Monday, saying PG&E is sorry and eager to […]

Judge stabbed and deputy shot in Washington courthouse

Grays Harbor County Courthouse

Following a standoff in a Washington state county courtroom Friday, a man reportedly escaped after shooting a sheriff’s deputy in the shoulder and stabbing a judge in the neck. The man is still at large. Treachery among the tree farms The incident occurred Friday afternoon in the western Washington town of Montesano, which bills itself […]

Microraptor was one flashy little dinosaur

Microraptor fossil

A team of Chinese and American scientists have found that Microraptor, a small four winged dinosaur that went extinct about 130 million years ago, was likely black and almost certainly had glossy, iridescent feathers. Until now, the coloring of extinct creatures was a matter of pure speculation. That may no longer be the case. The […]

Autocorrected message leads to school lockdown

Homage to the Sun

Adjacent schools in Georgia were locked down for two hours Wednesday after a text message reportedly warned of a “gunman” on campus. Later, it was learned that the message was the result of a smartphone autocorrect function, attempting to “fix” the misspelled slang word “gunna.” A series of mixups A series of mixups led to […]