Navy helo makes hard landing in IW

Published 12:23 pm Wednesday, January 12, 2022

A Navy helicopter made an emergency landing in an open field in the vicinity of Isle of Wight County’s Nike Park on the morning of Jan. 12.

Three occupants were on board, one of whom suffered minor injuries, according to Virginia State Police Sgt. Michelle Anaya.

The call came in at approximately 11:30 a.m., Anaya said. The crash reportedly occurred at the 12300 block of The Oaks Lane, a private road off Nike Park Road.

According to Anaya, the helicopter’s pilot was making an emergency landing in an open field when the momentum of the craft caused it to slide into the woods, striking several trees. The craft sustained damage to its front cockpit area on both sides of the landing skids.

According to Anaya, the two pilots were uninjured but the back passenger was transported to a hospital with minor injuries.

A Smithfield Police Department cruiser was restricting access to the road as of roughly 12:30 p.m. when The Smithfield Times arrived on-scene. A Virginia State Police cruiser then took over the task as another helicopter circled above the scene. According to Anaya, the owner of the field asked that media not be allowed onto his property.

Two Navy personnel arrived in a pickup truck shortly after 1 p.m., but declined to comment on the incident. State Police had cleared the scene as of just after 2 p.m. and turned the investigation over to Navy personnel, Anaya said. She said the FAA would not be responding.

Michael King, who lives on the opposite side of Nike Park Road from the crash site, said he didn’t see or hear anything out of the ordinary until he saw a news broadcast about the incident.

“Helicopters fly out here all the time,” he said.