A Navy helicopter from the Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 26, northwest of Norfolk, Virginia, near Smithfield, made a hard landing, crashing into trees after “the momentum of the craft caused it to slide into the wood line” according to the Virginia State Police in a statement. It was a Navy MH-60S “Seahawk” helicopter, with three people on at the time of the emergency landing.
Spokesman for Naval Air Force Atlantic, Lt. Cmdr. Robert Myers said in a statement, “We can confirm that a Navy MH-60S helicopter experienced a hard landing in a field in the vicinity of Smithfield, VA,” while she later assured, “”The care and well-being of our crew remains our top priority and we will investigate the cause of this incident.” The Navy previously said all three-personnel on the Navy helicopter at the time suffered non-life threatening injuries but state police later confirmed both the pilots were okay and “the back passenger was transported to the hospital with minor injuries.”
“As the helicopter pilot was making the emergency landing, the momentum of the craft caused it to slide into the wood line. The craft struck several trees sustaining damage to the front cockpit area and both sides of the landing skids,” said the Virginia State Police in a statement. Footage and photos from the scene of the landing show the Navy helicopter tangled in the woods, lying in a field.
The statement continued with, “There were three members on board, the two pilots were not injured but the back passenger was transported to the hospital with minor injuries. The US Navy Investigation and Security personnel are on scene and have taken over the investigation.”
Virginia State Police already confirmed that the FAA is not involved in the investigation of the crash and landing, as the Navy has taken over the investigation for the case, figuring out what caused the incident. It was also ensured that this was not a crash and rather a hard landing, in which the plane does not so much plummet to the ground uncontrollably, but rather lands harshly because the pilot is only partly in control of its descent.