Two submarine-hunting Navy planes collided early Thursday during a training mission off the Southern California coast, and 26 crew members were missing, Navy spokesmen said.
Search and rescue teams in helicopters found some debris but located no bodies or survivors, Navy spokesman Mike Kreis said. Air controllers lost contact with the two planes at about 2:30 a.m.Navy spokesman Bob Howard said a Navy SH-60 helicopter crew taking part in the exercise spotted a fireball at sea at about the same time.
Twelve crew members were on one P-3 Orion and 14 on the other, Kreis said. The planes were on a training mission from Moffett Naval Air Station in northern California.
Howard said chances of finding survivors were "obviously not good, but we are conducting very aggressive search and rescue operations."
John Shackleton, a public affairs officer at Moffett, said the two planes were part of Patrol Squadron 50, which flew to San Diego Thursday to take part in training. The crash occurred in the Pacific Ocean 60 miles southwest of San Diego, Howard said.