US Navy aircraft with 11 on board crashes into ocean off Okinawa

Trevor Jackson
November 23, 2017

The eight sailors are in good condition while rescue crews continue to search for the other three, the navy says.

The incident occurred around 2.45pm local time (00:45am EST) and recovery is underway.

A plane carrying 11 crew and passengers crashed into the Pacific Ocean on Wednesday while on the way to the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier, the Navy said.

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. The cause of the crash is not known, the Seventh Fleet said in a statement.

US Navy aircraft carrying 11 crashes off Japan

The names of the crew and passengers on board of the plane are now being withheld.

The Nov. 16-26 joint exercise in waters off Okinawa has been described by the Navy as the "premier training event" between the USA and Japanese navies, created to increase defensive readiness and interoperability in air and sea operations.

But recent months have taken their toll on the Seventh Fleet, which is headquartered at Yokotsuka, near Tokyo, and USA military vessels have been involved in a number of accidents.

In this June 18, 2017, handout provided by the U.S. Navy, a combined formation of aircraft from Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5 and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9 pass in formation above the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74).

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