SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. (AP) — Military officials said an investigation was under way after two Navy helicopters dipped temporarily into the waters of Lake Tahoe, before righting themselves and landing at a nearby airport.
Lt. Aaron Kakiel, a spokesman for the San Diego-based Naval Air Forces, said a YouTube posting filmed by tourists represents authentic video of the Sept. 13 episode, a newspaper, The Nevada Appeal, reported.
Lieutenant Kakiel said two pilots were returning from a cross-country tour when they attempted a “hover” maneuver with MH-60 Romeo helicopters a few feet above the water in Emerald Bay. The aircraft did not have enough power to sustain the hover and slowly descended into the water, he said. Both were able to regain altitude and land.
The helicopters suffered some damage, but no one was injured and no fuel leaked into the lake, Lieutenant Kakiel said.
He said the pilots had been grounded until the Navy completes an aviation mishap board investigation. They could face administrative action and lose their flying qualifications, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
The helicopters — each worth $33 million, according to a Navy Web site — were repaired at the Lake Tahoe airport and returned to San Diego on Sept. 16. A different set of pilots flew the aircraft home, Lieutenant Kakiel said.
MORE INFO HERE