Air Force helicopter forced to make emergency landing after someone shot at it, injured pilot

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WASHINGTON, DC – A U.S. Air Force helicopter was forced to make an emergency landing at a Virginia airport after someone shot at it, injuring one of the pilots on board. 

According to a report from CNN, the UH-1N was flying 10 miles northwest of Manassas, Virginia on a routine training mission at an altitude of 1,000 feet when the incident happened. The crew was able to land the helicopter safely at the Manassas Regional Airport, which is just west of Washington, D.C.

The injured pilot, who has not been identified, was taken to a nearby hospital where their injuries were treated. The pilot has since been released. According to military officials, the incident is now under FBI and Air Force investigation.

Investigators need to determine if the helicopter was deliberately shot at or if someone was randomly shooting into the air and the bullet just so happened to fly in the helicopter’s general direction. In addition, the aircraft will be closely inspected for any other damage that might have resulted from the incident.

Air Force officials said in a statement:

“Initial findings are that the helicopter was struck by a bullet resulting in a minor injury to an aircrew member and damage to the aircraft.”

The FBI’s Washington Field Office said in a statement:

“The FBI has 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.”

Airport operations officer Richard Allabaugh said that the Manassas Regional Airport received a call around 12:40 p.m. alerting them that a military helicopter was inbound and that paramedics were on their way.

The US Air Force 316th wing only confirmed an incident occurred and that the helicopter made an emergency landing on Monday.

The statement read:

“A UH-1N Huey helicopter assigned to the 1st Helicopter Squadron at Joint Base Andrews conducted an emergency landing at 12:43 p.m. on August 10th in Manassas, VA during a routine training mission.”

The statement added:

“The Office of Special Investigations is fully engaged with our FBI colleagues on this incident. 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.”

According to the Air Force District of Washington’s website, the 1st Helicopter Squadron has crews on alert around the clock for several vital missions, such as providing airlift for distinguished visitors. 

The squadron also stays ready to provide medical evacuation during public events such as the Joint Andrews Service Open House as well as helping maintain continuity of operations for the Air Force District of Washington.

Back in September 11, 2001, helicopters from the squadron landed at the Pentagon to evacuate senior Defense leadership. The FBI Washington Field Office said in their statement:

“WFO is working jointly with our law enforcement partners, including Air Force Office of Special Investigations, to determine the circumstances surrounding the incident. One individual in the helicopter sustained a non-threatening injury, for which he was treated and subsequently released from the hospital.”

They added:

“The FBI asks that anyone near this area at the time of the incident who may have information please call the FBI at 202-278-2000.”

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Here is an article from Law Enforcement Today about the recent scare of an armed gunman that was shot by the U.S. Secret Service:

A scare at the White House Monday evening… where an armed gunman was reportedly shot by the U.S. Secret Service.

During the incident, President Trump was rushed out of a press conference into the Oval Office.

He returned shortly after and picked up where he left off.

“It seems to be very well under control,” he said after returning. “But there was an actual shooting, and somebody has been taken to the hospital. I don’t know the condition of the person.”

The President said he wasn’t brought to one of the White House bunkers, but rather taken to the Oval Office.  That room is bulletproof and supposed to withstand small explosive munitions as well.

“I feel very safe with Secret Service, they’re fantastic people,” President Trump said. “They just wanted me to step aside for a little while to make sure that everything was cleared outside.”

According to ABC News, the shooting happened on 17th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue when the suspect opened fired on a non-White House employee.  Apparently that’s when a Uniformed Secret Service officer returned fire.

The Secret Service reportedly called for an ambulance at 5:55 p.m. and the suspect, an adult male, was transported to a hospital in critical condition with one gunshot wound to the upper body.

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