5 Killed in Navy Helicopter Crash in Nevada

Navy investigators were in the northern Nevada desert early Tuesday to recover the bodies of five sailors killed when their helicopter crashed during a training exercise.

The SH-60F chopper was flying out of Naval Air Station Fallon when it went down about 9:25 p.m. Monday in a mountainous region about 10 miles west of Austin, said base spokesman Zip Upham.

"The helicopter was on a combat search and rescue exercise," Upham said from Fallon. "They were 90 miles east of here, and they struck a high-voltage transmission line.

"The helicopter cut the transmission line and then impacted the ground," Upham said.

Names of the crew members were withheld pending notification of relatives.

Upham said the helicopter was assigned to Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron Seven based in Jacksonville, Fla. The squadron is part of Carrier Air Wing Three, which deploys on the USS Harry S. Truman.

The crew was on a month-long training mission at NAS Fallon that began April 30.

Upham said the crash occurred in an unpopulated area over land managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. He described the area as "rugged terrain, very remote."

"There is no civilian population in the area," he said.

NAS Fallon, 60 miles east of Reno, is home to the Navy's elite Strike and Air Warfare Center, formed in 1996 with the consolidation of the Navy fighter Weapons School known as "Top Gun" and the Carrier Airborne Early Warning Weapons School, or "Top Dome."
  
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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