US Air Force Helicopter Gets Shot at Over Virginia


An Air Force helicopter had to make an emergency landing at a Virginia airport after being shot at Monday, according to local and military officials.

The helicopter had been on a routine training flight before making an emergency landing at Manassas Regional Airport, according to a statement to The Hill from Joint Base Andrews, where the UH-1N Huey helicopter is assigned to the 1st Helicopter Squadron.

At least one crew member was injured, treated at a hospital and later released.

The helicopter was about 10 miles northwest of the airport and flying about 1,000 feet above the ground when it was hit over Virginia, officials said, according to The Associated Press.

“The aircraft safely landed and the incident is currently under investigation with local and federal authorities,” Joint Base Andrews told The Hill.

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The FBI Washington Field Office has partnered with local law enforcement to investigate the situation, McClatchy reported.

“The FBI Washington Field Office is working jointly with our law enforcement partners, including the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, to determine the circumstances surrounding the incident,” the FBI said.

“One individual in the helicopter sustained a non-threatening injury, for which he was treated and subsequently released from the hospital.”

Presidential aircraft Air Force One is also housed at Joint Base Andrews.

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Airport operations officer Richard Allabaugh said officials at Manassas Regional Airport received a call at about 12:20 p.m. that “a military helicopter was inbound and that paramedics were on the way.”

The helicopter remained at the airport to be inspected for damage while officials began looking into the incident, according to McClatchy.

The FBI “dispatched Special Agents and its Evidence Response Team to the Manassas Airport after receiving reports that a helicopter was shot at from the ground nearby,” the FBI’s Washington Field Office said in a statement.

The investigation’s initial findings show that the helicopter was struck by a bullet that caused some damage to the aircraft, the Air Force said, according to the AP.

Joint Base Andrews did not immediately release any further details.

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“The Office of Special Investigations is fully engaged with our FBI colleagues on this incident,” the base said. “OSI take threats to our Airmen and our resources very seriously.

“As this is an ongoing investigation, no further investigative details can be released at this time.”

Anyone with knowledge of the incident was asked to contact the FBI at 202-278-2000.

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith