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Navy safety pause underway after training flight crashes

Military Aircraft Crash
Posted at 4:28 PM, Jun 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-13 22:21:50-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — San Diegans likely didn't see much activity in the sky Monday. That's because the Navy ordered a safety pause for all non-deployed units.

It's the result of recent crashes in Southern California within days of each other.

"I think the commander of naval forces has made a good decision because they're looking at certainly not just the two recent mishaps, but they're looking at the entire climate and they're taking the right time to do something like this," said Jim Kidrick, president of the San Diego Air and Space Museum.

RELATED: Five Marines killed in Osprey crash identified

The first crash happened on June 8. A V-22 Osprey went down during a training exercise near Glamis killing five Marines based at Camp Pendleton.

Military identifies Marines killed in crash.png

  • Captain John Sax
  • Captain Nicholas Losapio
  • Corporal Nathan Carlson
  • Corporal Seth Rasmuson
  • Lance Corporal Evan Strickland

The second crash was during a training exercise near El Centro on June 9. An SMH-60 Seahawk helicopter with four on board went down. All on-board survived.

The Naval Safety Command Enabling Warfighting Readiness classifies mishaps by classes.

A Class A mishap is considered $2.5 million in damage or a total loss and fatality or permanent total disability. At least one of these crashes is considered a Class A mishap.

In the fiscal year 2021, naval aviation experienced 15 Class A mishaps and in 2020 there were 14, according to The Navy Safety Center's annual report.

The goal of the safety pause is to review risk-management practices and conduct training on threat and error-management processes, according to the Navy.

RELATED: Navy orders safety pause after training flight crash

Kidrick said that could mean possibly going over logs for maintenance crews and for aviators, taking pop quizzes, and practicing getting out of the aircraft in the case of an emergency.

"Often times they'll actually ask the question similar to this- to all of the aviators especially if we were going to have a mishap in our unit where do you think it might come from?," said Kidrick.

He said safety pauses are not uncommon. In fact, the last time there was a pause was in October 2020 after a Super Hornet was involved in a crash.

The Navy tells ABC 10News that after the 2020 pause, changes were made to emergency procedures, some policies were updated and the Commander of Naval Air Forces established an assessment team that visited squadrons from all communities.

It adds it's committed to learning from its successes and mishaps.

The Navy said deployed units will conduct the same safety pause at the earliest possible opportunity.

"That just ensures that they can perform all of their commitments deployed overseas as our front-line forces," explained Kidrick.

The cause of the recent crashes is under investigation.