Navy Aircraft Carrying 11 Crashes in Pacific, 3 Still Missing

Navy Aircraft Carrying 11 Crashes in Pacific, 3 Still Missing

Kerry Wise
November 23, 2017

The aircraft was traveling to the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier, which is now operating in the Philippine Sea, when it went down.

"Search and rescue efforts for three personnel continue with U.S. Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) ships and aircraft on scene", the U.S. Seventh Fleet said in a news release.

There was no immediate information on what kind of aircraft was involved, but over 60 planes and helicopters of different types operate from the USS Ronald Reagan, according to the carrier group's website.

A U.S. Navy airplane has crashed in the Philippine Sea near the coast of Okinawa, Japan, the Pacific 7th Fleet command said in a statement on Wednesday. The cause of the crash was not immediately clear and the incident will be investigated, the Navy said.

The 7th Fleet said the Reagan was conducting search and rescue operations.

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The U.S. Navy says the aircraft was carrying 11 crew and passengers. But Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said, "I have been informed from the US military that engine trouble may have caused (the crash)", per CNN.

The crash, which took place about 500 nautical miles (575 miles) southeast of Okinawa, Japan, happened at 2:45 p.m. local time, which is 12:45 a.m. ET. The names of crew and passengers were being withheld pending notification of next of kin, the Navy says. It was taking part in an ongoing joint U.S. -Japan naval exercise.

It is thought at least three people are missing.

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