Navy special warfare sailor dies following helicopter’s ‘hard landing’


Caitlyn Burchett

The Virginian-Pilot

A sailor assigned to an East Coast-based Naval Special Warfare unit died after a military helicopter the sailor was in made a “hard landing” last week at Fort Story in Virginia Beach.

The helicopter was conducting routine training at approximately 4:15 p.m. Thursday when the landing occurred, Capt. Sarah Self-Kyler, spokesperson for Fleet Forces told The Virginian-Pilot at the time.

The three service members were taken to a hospital for treatment. One of the service members died at a hospital Monday afternoon, according to a news release from Naval Special Warfare Command.

The sailor’s name will not be released until Wednesday, in accordance with a Navy policy that requires identities to be withheld for 24 hours following next-of-kin notifications.

The military branch or branches involved in the training was not released. The sailor was not a Navy SEAL, according to a Navy spokesperson.

An investigation into the incident is ongoing.

Hard landings differ from crashes in that in a hard landing the pilot maintains at least partial control of the aircraft, whereas a crash is uncontrolled.

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