|Navy contractor's plane with three aboard crashes off California coast|
Defense News & Army Times26 day(s) ago
Rescue crews have found the wreckage of a Navy contractor’s Phoenix Learjet off the Southern California coast and are searching for the three people aboard when it went down early Wednesday. U.S. Coast Guard spokesman Levi Read said the aircraft plunged into the Pacific Ocean about a mile southwest of San Clemente Island, which is west of San Diego and owned by the U.S. Navy. The Coast Guard, Navy and Customs and Border Protection crews were involved in the search for the three people, Read said. The aircraft used by the Navy contractor departed from the Ventura County area, said Drew Verbis, spokesperson for Naval Base Ventura County on the coast northwest of Los Angeles. Watchstanders at the Joint Harbor Operations Center in San Diego received the initial report of a downed aircraft at 7:53 a.m. from the Fleet Area Control and Surveillance Facility on San Clemente Island, according to a press release from Coast Guard District 11. The FACSFAC reported that the aircraft didn’t make it back to the runway. A Navy Phoenix Lear jet crew was in the area and began immediately searching the debris field, according to the release. They were quickly joined by MH-60 Jayhawk aircrew from Coast Guard Sector San Diego and Customs and Border Protection aircraft. The amphibious transport dock San Diego diverted after hearing the emergency broadcast and began searching the area as well. — Navy Times staff contributed to this report.