A Red Sea helicopter crash has claimed the lives of two Naval officers after their helicopter landed onto the deck of carrier and fell into the Red Sea Sunday. Missing and presumed dead are Lt. Cmdr. Landon L. Jones, 35, of Lompoc, Calif., and Chief Warrant Officer Jonathon S. Gibson, 32, of Aurora, Ore., reports the Inquisitr on Sept. 24.
The pair were flying a MH-60S Knighthawk helicopter when it landed onto the deck of the guided missile destroyer USS William P. Lawrence, which was ordered into the Red Sea last month for a possible strike on Syria.
After disembarking three other crew members, the chopper, with its rotors still spinning, suddenly fell over into the waters below. On Monday, the Navy reported they had suspended their search efforts, calling the possibility of survival “extremely unlikely.”
Although not formally releasing a cause of the accident, naval officials did say a large wave struck the side of the destroyer and caused it to tilt slightly, perhaps throwing the helicopter off balance. The spinning rotors on the Knighthawk would displace the chopper’s center of gravity, making it unstable.
“Navy officials have concluded that given the time elapsed since the incident, aircrew survivability was extremely unlikely,” a news release on the U.S. 5th Fleet website said. “The location of the crash site is known, and an extensive area has been searched multiple times by various ships and aircraft.”