1 injured in Navy helicopter hard landing in Virginia

The Navy previously reported all three crew members sustained injuries.

January 12, 2022, 3:08 PM

A Navy Seahawk helicopter was forced to make a hard landing near Smithfield, Virginia, on Wednesday, and one of the three crew members aboard sustained minor injuries, according to the Navy.

The Navy had previously said all three personnel suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

"We can confirm that a Navy MH-60S helicopter experienced a hard landing in a field in the vicinity of Smithfield, VA," said Lt. Cmdr. Robert Myers, a spokesman for Naval Air Force Atlantic, in a statement.

Images taken by Virginia State Police show the helicopter's fuselage lying in a field and atop brush near a tree line.

"As the helicopter pilot was making the emergency landing, the momentum of the craft caused it to slide into the wood line," said a Virginia State Police statement. "The craft struck several trees sustaining damage to the front cockpit area and both sides of the landing skids."

A Navy MH-60s Seahawk helicopter experienced a hard landing near Smithfield, Va., Jan. 12, 2021.
Virginia State Police

"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 statement said. "The US Navy Investigation and Security personnel are on scene and have taken over the investigation. "

Unlike a crash in which a helicopter hits the ground after an uncontrolled descent, during a hard landing, a pilot maintains partial control of the aircraft as it lands more forcefully and faster than usual.

Smithfield, Virginia, is located in Isle of Wight County in the vicinity of multiple large Navy bases in the Norfolk area.

ABC News' Davone Morales contributed to this report.