Navy Helicopter Mishap Off Nine Mile Road

March 28, 2015

A Navy helicopter suffered a “mishap” at a practice field on Nine Mile Road just before 7 p.m. Friday. There were no serious injuries reported.

A Training Air Wing FIVE helicopter had a training mishap at around 6:45 p.m. Friday, according to a press release, at Naval Air Station Whiting Field’s Navy Outlying Landing Field Site 8.

Initial reports from the scene indicate that the helicopter rolled on its right side while landing and the two officers, one instructor pilot and one student, exited the helicopter on their own accord. The pilots were evaluated by NAS Whiting Field EMS personnel  and were transported to a local hospital for a routine evaluation.

A witness described the crash an extremely hard landing, after which the helicopter rolled over on its side. Damage to the aircraft was described as “heavy”.

The field is located on Nine Mile Road near Bell Ridge Drive, just west of the Navy Federal complex.  Military helicopters frequently use the field to practice landings.

Multiple Escambia Fire Rescue stations, Navy Fire, Escambia County EMS and a Navy crash response crew responded to the site.

Photos for, click to enlarge.


14 Responses to “Navy Helicopter Mishap Off Nine Mile Road”

  1. Clark on April 2nd, 2015 4:51 pm

    Engine blew up…had to do a controlled landing

  2. Bill on April 2nd, 2015 3:24 pm

    Long time heli guy here.. That helicopter is a Bell product and nearly identical to the civilian version that so many news crews use. As to the accident pics, and having had to recover bodies from much worse crashes… Looks to me like they were doing an autorotation and the student yanked back on the cyclic too hard, causing contact with the tailboom. This typically leads to adverse yaw(the helicopter spins) and the main blades go every which way till they come off. The instructor is supposed to be covering the controls so it never gets this bad, but I guess he had an oops! Glad they walked!

  3. RunningBear on March 29th, 2015 11:06 pm

    hmmm….hard landing usually implies loss of vertical control and smashes up the landing skids, etc. but this….

    the nose lower Plexiglas windows are still in place (didn’t) hit in the nose down attitude;

    both upper nose Plexiglas windows are popped out as a fuselage distortion will cause;

    neither landing skid is dirty, much less distorted (looks untouched) or bent, no overload from to high a vertical descent speed;

    tailboom is broken but no dirt/ mud on the tail assembly and tail rotor is intact;

    main rotor hub is detached and rotors are damaged/ broken from hub;

    much debris in cockpit has landed in bottom (starboard) side of fuselage (not unusual after crash);

    did this helo land?? vertically on it’s right side and not on the landing skids??

    kudos to the crew walking away and again to the manufacturer for building a “tough bird”!

  4. Dewayne on March 29th, 2015 3:59 pm

    Oh, Yea, Bring that baby to us! We’ll fix her right on up!!!

  5. bout done on March 29th, 2015 3:33 pm

    Glad they were okay.

    They likely won’t be practicing here much longer. Escambia is developing a site in Santa Rosa to trade for this site.

  6. Lisa Watson on March 29th, 2015 4:03 am

    They are harder to fly than planes My Dad flew them all his life, and he was an instructor at Ft Rucker and other places for many years.

    Accidents happen, especially with beginners. If there is much luck, everyone survives and the student learns not to make that particular mistake again.

    These things are regulars going over my house in the evenings during the week, though I wish they’d change their flight path. Every time they fly over they mess up my TV, and they love to fly over LOTS on Thursday nights, my favorite TV day. It’s been a running family joke for years about how they know when I am on the phone in the evenings sitting outside for best reception, they fly over and I have to tell the person to hold on til the helicopter passes.

    I’m glad these two are okay, hope no more mishaps happen, but I do admit that because I know they are student pilots on those things, I get nervous about being on their flight path.

  7. Marshal on March 28th, 2015 7:47 pm

    Glad everyone’s ok. This bird was painted at the place I work not to long ago. Kinda scary seeing a bird that I may have worked on go down

  8. Mike on March 28th, 2015 7:17 pm

    This is why it is called training, the student learns from his mistakes or experiences equipment failure before he or she goes into a real deployment situation. I have not heard a copter flying today (I’m in the flight path) now I know why. They might be in the process of a major equipment inspection, hence grounding them for a short while, but I doubt it, I probably just haven’t heard them. Go Navy! :)

  9. Elmo on March 28th, 2015 5:32 pm

    I don’t know which manufacturer fabricates these military helicopters now but I can honestly say they’re very well built. I have seen or read of several mishaps over many years pertaining to training the new pilots in this modern model and prior models helicopters. Note: Trainer Pilot`s Skills/Decisions saved lives! I have read about atmosphere conditions, cross winds, wind gust, down drafts and a whole lot less reaction time limit. I`m sure I missed many more, so I always think about all that when I see a helicopter flying in the sky and I now realize all the skills it must demand to pilot that aircraft. In my eyes Life Flight pilots, and other civil rescue helicopter pilots are among the “Best of the Best” of pilots!

    PS-Think about it? There is a logical reason why designers argued that the helicopter wasn’t supposed to fly in the first place!

  10. SHO-NUFF on March 28th, 2015 1:29 pm

    That I’ll Buff right out!

    Glad it worked out for everyone involved.

  11. Bob C. on March 28th, 2015 10:20 am

    Gotta practice a lot to get it right….glad the troopers are okay and know they’re ready to get into another aircraft and keep on flying, practicing and learning.
    Takes lots of Moxie to get into those things and fly.
    Thank You to ALL who Serve and who Have Served.
    All Give Some, Some Gave ALL.
    Seat belts kept these two from being badly injured, just sayin’

  12. diane on March 28th, 2015 3:51 am

    Glad their OK too.. I watched one land so hard one day it bounced up & down several quick times. Kinda scary to think if they could crash off field & hurt someone.

  13. traumaqueen on March 27th, 2015 11:10 pm

    Glad to hear everybody is okay.

  14. Charlotte on March 27th, 2015 9:36 pm

    Thank God they are o.k.

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