Local News

Two Marines Injured In Helicopter Crash Near N.C. Coast

Posted June 28, 2002 12:05 p.m. EDT

— An investigation is under way into the crash of a N.C-based Marine helicopter during a training mission Thursday afternoon.

Military officials said an AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopter was conducting routine training exercises when it crashed at 3:42 p.m. near Catfish Lake, about 10 miles northwest of Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station.

Capt. James Jarvis, spokesman for the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, said the two men inside suffered multiple contusions, but were able to walk at the time of their rescue and remain in good spirits.

Maj. Michael Byrd and Capt. Samuel A. Meyer are in fair condition at Pitt County Memorial Hospital in Greenville.

Byrd will undergo surgery for fractures to his arm and ankle on Saturday. Meyer is being treated for injuries to his back.

A Marine spokesman at Cherry Point air station said the helicopter was based at New River Air Station, near Camp Lejeune outside Jacksonville, and assigned to the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

The crash site is about a mile from the nearest road in an unpopulated area in the Croatan National Forest. The terrain is so thickly wooded that a Marine rescue helicopter was unable to land and the victims had to be hoisted aboard while it hovered overhead.

The aircraft was one of four Super Cobras participating in routine training at the time of the mishap. The incident is under investigation.

Crews are attempting to clear a path to the woods so the wreckage can be removed.