Navy helicopter crashed in California while searching for hiker

A Navy helicopter searching for a missing hiker crashed around 5 p.m. Friday evening. The crash occurred in California’s White Mountains.

Fortunately, the crew survived in the harsh environment overnight before being rescued.

The MH-60 Knighthawk crashed near Mount Hogue while searching for a hiker who went missing in the Inyo National Forest south of Boundary Peak. This was some 120 miles south of Naval Air Station Fallon.

The four-person crew was unharmed in the crash, but they had to wait for rescue after informing the base of their location. The Navy stated in a statement that an attempt to retrieve the crew on Friday evening failed.

Fortunately, the pilots were able to drop overnight kits to the crew survivors. Overnight, the crew remained at 11,700 feet above sea level.

A second attempt on Saturday to rescue the crew encountered similar problems, but at the mission, they were able to drop off a ground team who assisted the survivors. The helicopter returned to base to refuel.

At around 2 p.m. Saturday, a third attempt was successful in rescuing all four survivors as well as the ground crew after 20 hours in rugged terrain.

The cause of the crash is unknown at this time, but the Navy will investigate, with assistance from the Naval Safety Center.

Meanwhile, the helicopter will remain at the crash site until the investigation is concluded, after which it will be removed. 

After being gone since mid-week, the missing hiker Ronald Bolen was found on Boundary Peak on Saturday.

The investigation into the crash continues.

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