Bill Gabbert Farewell - WildfireToday

Firefighting helicopter collides with Navy helicopter, both land safely

At Brown Field near San Diego, Nov. 22, 2022.

Damage to a Navy MH-60R Seahawk after colliding with a UH-60A Firehawk
Damage to a Navy MH-60R Seahawk after colliding with a UH-60A Blackhawk contracted to SDG&E Nov. 22, 2022. NBC7.

This article was first published at Fire Aviation.

It is very rare to hear about a mid air collision of two helicopters which then land safely with no reported injuries of the five occupants.

It happened Tuesday night Nov. 22 at Brown Field near San Diego during a night training exercise that included two Blackhawk variants.

Damage to a Navy MH-60R Seahawk after colliding with a UH-60A Firehawk
Damage to a Navy MH-60R Seahawk after colliding with a UH-60A Blackhawk contracted to SDG&E Nov. 22, 2022. NBC7.

One helicopter suffered damage to the main rotor and the other had damage to the rear stabilator, City of San Diego Public Information Officer José Ysea said.

Ensign Bryan Blair, spokesperson for Commander, Naval Air Forces, issued the following statement: “On Nov. 22, an MH-60R Seahawk helicopter attached to Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 41 made an emergency landing at Brown Field in San Diego after experiencing a collision with a helicopter contracted by San Diego Gas and Electric during a flight for a night training event. Both aircraft landed safely and there were no injuries to personnel. The incident is under investigation.”

UH-60A Firehawk contracted to SDG&E that collided with a Navy MH-60R Seahawk
File photo of the UH-60A Blackhawk contracted to SDG&E that collided with a Navy MH-60R Seahawk Nov. 22, 2022. SDG&E photo.

The second helicopter, a UH-60A Blackhawk, N160AQ, is contracted to SDG&E for firefighting in the utility’s service area. An SDG&E official issued this statement regarding the incident: “We have been made aware of the incident by our contractor who owns and operates the aircraft and the most important thing is that all parties are safe.”

Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Tom.

Typos, let us know HERE, and specify which article. Please keep in mind our commenting ground rules before you post a comment.

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

One thought on “Firefighting helicopter collides with Navy helicopter, both land safely”

  1. Better for these things to happen in training than on live ops. I think a major aircraft accident with a fuel loaded VLAT in Red Flag conditions on a large fire with life threat could be beyond the pale. I don’t know the stats but it seems like there’s been a high number of aircraft and pilot accidents this year.

What are your thoughts?