Ten Navy Helicopters Damaged in Norfolk NAS Windstorm

Faye Higbee

Ten Navy helicopters were damaged in a windstorm that blew through the Norfolk NAS (Naval Air Station) on Tuesday. The damaged aircraft were reported by the Navy as: “five MH-60S Knight Hawks, one MH-60R Sea Hawk and four MH-53E Sea Dragon mine countermeasures helicopters.”

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Severe Thunderstorm Warning was issued around 3:30 p.m. for Virginia Beach, Norfolk, and Chesapeake. The warning remained until 4:15 p.m. and residents in the area reported winds of up to 60 mph.

WAVY
An MH53 rests ‘uncomfortably’ on the airstrip at Naval Air Station Norfolk

“The Navy is continuing to assess the full extent of the damages to each airframe, but there are no impacts to operational forces as a result of this incident. Known damages to the aircraft span from broken tail and rotor blades to structural dents and punctures in the airframes. No personnel were injured during the storm.”

Cmdr. Rob Myers with Naval Air Forces Atlantic (USNI)

Ten class A ground mishaps…10 helicopters could result in at least $2.5 Million in repairs…if the aircraft don’t have to be replaced entirely

On July 8, an F/A-18 Super Hornet was blown off the deck of the USS Harry S Truman. That incident is still under investigation. Generally, aircraft – whether helicopters or jet fighters – are either tied down or moved to a safe location. The storm that ravaged the helicopters in Norfolk happened to hit in the middle of shift change when all maintainers were inside. The speed of the storm also affected their ability to get to the aircraft in time to protect them.

The Navy claims the damages will not affect their abilities, but the damages will certainly be expensive to repair.

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Featured Screenshot via WAVY

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