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Marine Corps helicopter crashes near NJ military base

An AH-1Z Viper assigned to the Marine Aircraft Group 49 flies over the coast of Maryland, March 9, 2021. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Sean Hetz)
January 07, 2022

A U.S. Marine Corps helicopter crashed near Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst near Wrightstown, New Jersey on Thursday afternoon at around 3:30 p.m. EST.

Two personnel aboard the AH-1 attack helicopter were taken to a local hospital, according to a press statement released by the military base. Both personnel were reported in stable condition at the time of the press release.

Few details were available about the cause of the crash. The incident is now under investigation. The base said additional information will be released as it becomes available.

The first iteration of the AH-1 attack helicopter entered service in 1967 as the single-engined AH-1 Cobra. The Cobra was eventually retired from service in 2001. Subsequent twin-engine versions of the AH-1 helicopter, including the AH-1W SuperCobra and the most current model, the AH-1Z Viper, have entered service. Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst did not specify which model of AH-1 helicopter was involved in Thursday’s crash.

Military helicopter crashes are not uncommon. In August, an MH-60S Seahawk helicopter assigned to the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) aircraft carrier was conducting routine flight operations approximately 60 nautical miles (about 69 miles) off the coast of San Diego when it went down. After days of searching, five crew members of the helicopter were declared dead.

In July a U.S. Navy MH-60 Knighthawk helicopter crashed near Mount Hogue on the California-Nevada border east of Yosemite National Park. The helicopter had been searching for a lost hiker at the time of the incident. All four crew members were later recovered without injury.

In April, a U.S. Army UH-72 Lakota helicopter assigned to Fort Rucker, Alabama crashed in a rural area, injuring two people on board.

An unmanned U.S. Navy Fire Scout helicopter assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 21, at Naval Air Station North Island, also crashed in April. The helicopter had taken off from the San Diego-based littoral combat ship USS Charleston when it hit a safety net and collided into the hull of the ship just above the waterline. That helicopter then fell into the Pacific Ocean and was not recovered.

In January of last year, a New York Army National Guard helicopter crashed resulting in the deaths of three soldiers on board.