Earlier today we told you about the bizarre report that a USAF helicopter on a routine training mission had been shot at and one crewman injured. Here’s an update from Air Force Times:
An Air Force UH-1N Huey helicopter was forced to conduct an emergency landing at a local airport in Manassas, Virginia, Monday after being shot from the ground.
A crew member received a minor injury, and was treated and then released at a local hospital, a spokesman for Joint Base Andrews said in an email. The helicopter — which was on a routine training mission and is assigned to the 1st Helicopter Squadron at Andrews — was damaged.
The FBI is investigating the incident, along with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Andrews said, and the initial findings are that a bullet struck the aircraft.
Richard Allabaugh, the airport operations officer at Manassas Regional Airport, said in an interview that the airport’s tower alerted them at about 12:20 p.m. that a military helicopter was coming in with an in-flight emergency.
One person aboard the helicopter had a bleeding hand, Allabaugh said the tower reported.
At 12:43, Andrews said, the helicopter landed safely. Paramedics arrived shortly afterwards, Allabaugh said.
The FBI discovered that a bullet indeed struck the helicopter. If the injury to the crewman’s hand is from the bullet, then it obviously penetrated the aircraft as well, which would make sense considering helicopters aren’t normally bullet proof.
And note too that the emergency landing was at a local airport and not Andrews. The FBI is asking for tips from anyone who might know who shot the plane, saying to “call the Washington field office at 202-278-2000.”
We’ll keep you abreast as more details emerge, especially an arrest.