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Fire Scout unmanned helicopter crashes into US Navy ship in western Pacific

Tulsa Flies an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Colby A. Mothershead)

An unmanned helicopter crashed into the side of a U.S. Navy ship in the western Pacific Ocean Monday afternoon, the Navy said in a statement. No one was injured.

The unmanned “Fire Scout” helicopter crashed into the side of the San Diego-based littoral combat ship Charleston after taking off from the ship at 3:40 p.m., the Navy said. The helicopter damaged a safety net and struck the hull of the ship above the waterline. After impact, the almost 32-foot-long helicopter fell into the ocean and was not recovered. It belongs to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 21, based at Naval Air Station North Island.

The Navy finished an extensive unmanned exercise in the eastern Pacific involving several ships — manned and unmanned — along with other unmanned aircraft Monday. A spokesman for the San Diego-based 3rd Fleet said the Charleston and the lost Fire Scout were not part of that exercise.

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