Unmanned Fire Scout Helicopter Crashes into San Diego-Based USS Charleston

Navy personnel prepare the MC-8C Fire Scout for launch aboard the littoral combat ship USS Coronado. Navy photo

An unmanned MQ-8B Fire Scout helicopter crashed into the side of USS Charleston after taking off from the littoral combat ship around 9:40 a.m. on Tuesday.

The Navy said the San Diego-based ship was training in the eastern Pacific Ocean when the helicopter crashed into the ship’s side and the sunk. No personnel were injured in the mishap.

Damage to the ship is being assessed, but appears to be limited to an area above the waterline, the Navy said, adding that the Charleston is continuing operations.

The 32-foot-long craft was assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 21 based
out of Naval Air Station North Island.

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