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Coast Guard helicopter crash: Tail recovered; 3 crew missing

Parts of a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter that crashed Tuesday evening in Alabama’s Mobile Bay have been recovered and brought to the surface, a Coast Guard official said Thursday. Three crew members remain missing.

Lt. Eric Wilson, a Coast Guard pilot and spokesman, said in a telephone interview from Mobile, Ala., that the aircraft’s tail has been recovered and that the main fuselage is being raised. The search for the three missing crew members is continuing as the salvage operation proceeds,  Wilson said.

Search efforts have been hampered by poor visibility and weather, he said. None of the names of the crew have been released. One person was confirmed killed in the Tuesday crash.

The MH-65C helicopter was on a training mission near Point Clear, Ala., when it crashed. It had left from the Aviation Training Center in Mobile.

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Also known as the Dolphin, the MH-65C helicopter is a twin-engine, single-rotor helicopter often used in search-and-rescue operations.  It usually carries two pilots, a mechanic and a rescue swimmer.

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Michael.muskal@latimes.com


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