The Pentagon released the names of two San Diego Navy pilots killed in a helicopter crash last Sunday. Lieutenant Commander Landon L. Jones and Chief Officer Jonathon S. Gibson were both pronounced dead due to an accident in the Red Sea.
Despite previously released Navy reports, Jones and Gibson were the only people in the MH-60S Knighthawk when it crashed. Right before the accident occurred, three other crewmembers had departed the aircraft during its landing on USS William P. Lawrence.
This Knighthawk is assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 6, commonly referred to as the HSC Indians. Working with USS William P. Lawrence, the Knighthawk went down around 12:40 p.m. during a routine flight, stated by a U.S. Navy 5th Fleet official.
Although investigations are still being pursued, some say the helicopter slammed onto the deck of USS William P. Lawrence, while others think no ship collision occurred. When a helicopter crashes into a body of water, the heavy rotors flip the plane upside down and plummet to the bottom quickly.
Officials are quite certain that the tragic accident was not a result of hostile actions.
Both sailors were stationed at North Island Naval Air Station. They also were married with two small children. The MH-60S Knighthawk is also based at Naval Air Station North Island.
As Navy officials report, USS William P. Lawrence was deployed in January with the USS Nimitz Carrier Strike Group. The destroyer USS William P. Lawrence was sent to the Red Sea along with USS Stockdale and USS Princeton for more American presence while recent conflicts in Syria continue.
Photo Credit: Official U.S. Navy Imagery