Home » Aviation » UPDATED: Marine Killed, 9 Injured Following Super Stallion ‘Hard Landing’ at Camp Lejeune


UPDATED: Marine Killed, 9 Injured Following Super Stallion ‘Hard Landing’ at Camp Lejeune

Marines with 2nd Transportation Support Battalion prepare to attach an 8,500-pound high beam to a pintle hook beneath a CH-53E Super Stallion during an external lift exercise aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C. on Aug. 25, 2015. US Marine Corps Photo

Marines with 2nd Transportation Support Battalion prepare to attach an 8,500-pound high beam to a pintle hook beneath a CH-53E Super Stallion during an external lift exercise aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C. on Aug. 25, 2015. US Marine Corps Photo

This post has been updated with additional information from II MEF.

One Marine is dead and nine others are injured following the hard landing of a Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion heavy lift helicopter during a Wednesday training exercise at Camp Lejeune, N.C., officials at the base told USNI News on Thursday.

The Super Stallion — from Heavy Helicopter Squadron-464 Marine Aircraft Group-29, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing — suffered the hard landing around 9 p.m. during the exercise.

“A hard landing is when an aircraft impacts the ground with a greater
vertical speed and force than a normal landing, typically after a rapid or
steep descent,” according to a release from II Marine Expeditionary Force (II MEF).

Of the nine Marines who were injured, four were admitted to hospitals, one was injured seriously and three others were in stable condition, II MEF officials told USNI News.

A total of 16 Marines were on the aircraft.

The identity of the dead Marine will be released pending notification of next of kin.

The Marines have begun an investigation into the incident and provided no additional details.

The following is the Sept. 3, 2015 statement from II MEF of the Sept. 2, 2015 hard landing of a CH-53E during a training exercise.

*** MEDIA ADVISORY***

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. – A CH-53E helicopter belonging to
Heavy Helicopter Squadron-464, Marine Aircraft group-29, 2nd Marine Aircraft
Wing experienced a hard landing while conducting training aboard Camp
Lejeune, N.C., at approximately 9 p.m. Sept. 2, 2015, resulting in one
fatality and 11 injured U.S. Marines.

According to Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune (NHCL), one Marine was transferred
there via air MEDEVAC and was pronounced dead at the hospital. Seven
Marines were treated initially at NHCL; six have been evaluated and have
been released while one has been admitted and is in stable condition.
Additionally, four Marines were transferred to Onslow Memorial Hospital.
Three have been evaluated and scheduled for release. One Marine was reported
in stable condition and in transit to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville,
N.C.

A hard landing is when an aircraft impacts the ground with a greater
vertical speed and force than a normal landing, typically after a rapid or
steep descent. II MEF Public Affairs will provide updates once received and
confirmed factual.

“The command’s priorities are to make contact with the families of the
involved Marines as quickly as possible to provide them with the status of
their loved ones,” said Capt. Kendra Motz, deputy director of II MEF Public
Affairs. “We want to ensure the Marines and family members of the units
involved in the mishap have easy access to any help they may need after this
tragic event.”

The identity of our lost service member will be withheld until 24 hours
after next of kin has been notified. Our thoughts and prayers are with the
family during this difficult time.

The incident is under investigation and no additional detail is available at
this time.

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Categories: Aviation, Military Personnel, News & Analysis, U.S. Marine Corps
Sam LaGrone

About Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone is the editor of USNI News. He was formerly the U.S. Maritime Correspondent for the Washington D.C. bureau of Jane’s Defence Weekly and Jane’s Navy International. He has covered legislation, acquisition and operations for the Sea Services and spent time underway with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Navy.

  • Curtis Conway

    How far can we push the CH-53Es? The delayed flight testing for the CH-53K has drifted to October-November time frame (maybe). A quote from Sikorsky: “Sikorsky has had to replace titanium shafts with steel versions, and also incorrectly modeled loads in the gearbox.” . . . has necessitated the redesign efforts for the “K”. Gearbox redesign is the big delay now. Seems the Ground Test Vehicle was a good idea, or they would have found this in flight test.

    • sferrin

      “Seems the Ground Test Vehicle was a good idea, or they would have found this in flight test.”

      Yeah, I mean it’s almost like they’re professionals.

      • Curtis Conway

        When you read the articles on the Sikorsky design, redesign and testing, one wonders if they hired engineers. The ground test vehicle was held to the ground with huge titanium poles and cross braces. The vehicle will put four (4) times the power into the frame and lift. Can’t wait to see flight test. This bird is going to be something.

  • weston777

    I blame liberals !!

    • Curtis Conway

      Love the sinner, and hate the sin. However . . . there is no forgiveness for the mindset.

  • Claudio Alpaca

    I wish wounded buddies to may return to health status eraly and be newly able to accomplish their missiones. My condolences are for loved ones of the died buddies who is ever on our hearts and for the family is also ours:Navy claudio alpaca