Sea Dragon Crash Archive
A helicopter loaded with 17 Marines and eight Norfolk-based sailors approached the amphibious ship Mesa Verde in the Gulf of Aden a year ago. A few of the sailors were brand new to the service, eagerly watching out hatches as they came in for their first landing aboard their first ship in the Navy.
More than 20 years ago, with efforts already under way to begin retiring its Sea Dragon helicopters, the Navy disbanded a specialized training squadron where sailors learned how to fly and maintain the U.S. military's only minesweeping aircraft.
NORFOLK The Navy is hosting a ceremony Thursday to formally reestablish a training squadron for sailors who fly its minesweeping helicopters, some two decades after the unit was disbanded as part of a broader consolidation.
The Navy has purchased two decommissioned Japanese military helicopters and additional used parts, completing an international deal in the works for more than five years. The U.S. plans to harvest the aircraft for parts to maintain its aging fleet of MH-53E Sea Dragons.
Two months after the Navy ordered new inspections of every heavy-lift helicopter in its fleet, most of the aircraft - including all but one based in Norfolk - remain grounded until thousands of repairs are made to potentially unsafe fuel lines and electrical wires.
NORFOLK The Navy is retraining sailors who work on its Sea Dragon helicopters after a Virginian-Pilot investigation revealed workers had improperly filled out maintenance records, an apparent violation of naval aviation policy.
A Navy helicopter crew smelled fumes and made a "precautionary landing" late Thursday at the Newport News Marine Terminal shortly after taking off from Norfolk Naval Station inside an MH-53E Sea Dragon.
NORFOLK The Navy on Friday issued guidance intended to ensure the safety of its heavy-lift helicopters, a day after a Virginian-Pilot story revealed internal concerns about hazardous wiring and fuel lines inside the aircraft.
U.S. Navy buys old helicopters from Japan for spare parts
The U.S. plans to harvest the decommissioned military aircraft for parts to maintain its aging fleet of MH-53E Sea Dragons. It appears the service bought the equipment at a steep discount.
Most of Navy's Sea Dragon fleet remains on the ground
More than a year after a Navy helicopter crashed off the coast of Virginia, killing three crew members, high-ranking military officials are worried not enough has been done to prevent a similar tragedy, according to confidential documents obtained by The Virginian-Pilot.
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