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History of the MH-60S Knighthawk

The Navy helicopter that crashed off San Diego
MH-60S Knighthawk.png
Posted at 5:18 PM, Sep 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-01 20:25:06-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- We are learning more about the Navy helicopter that crashed off the coast of San Diego on Tuesday. Experts said it is one of the most reliable and versatile aircraft in the United States military.

Chatting with visitors is how Ross Davis spends much of his day as an Education Resources Coordinator at the San Diego Air and Space Museum. But when he heard about the MH-60S Knighthawk crash on Tuesday, it hit home.

"Anytime something like this happens, of course, the community is concerned, and the Navy as well," Davis said.

Davis is a former navy pilot who spent thousands of hours on earlier versions of the MH-60 helicopters.

"This is a very tried and true airframe system," Davis said. "It's been flown for a while based on the Army Blackhawk but improved over the years."

He said since its entry into the service in 2002, the MH-60S has had a proven safety record as a multi-mission aircraft.

"Search and rescue certainly, anti-submarine warfare, logistics, even combat search and rescue," Davis said.

Each flight crew member has intensive tactical training when entering the fleet. But that's not all.

"Before they get there, there is survival training as well," Davis said. "So provided the aircraft went down in a smooth enough manner, we are still holding hope of survivors because they know how to get out of the helicopter, they know how to survive it once they are in the water."

Davis said at this point, he cannot speculate as to what may have happened during that routine flight operation.

"It could be a power loss. It could be a control loss," Davis said. "Until we can get more information, guesses are purely that. There's really no way of knowing."