A Navy helicopter carrying four crewmen on a training exercise crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off the Virginia coast, and search teams recovered the body of one victim, the Navy said yesterday.
The search for the three other members of the H-46 Sea Knight crew was called off late in the day. They are presumed dead, said Cmdr. Kevin Wensing, a spokesman for the Navy's Atlantic Fleet Air Force.
The helicopter was about 10 miles from the amphibious assault ship Guam when it was reported missing shortly after 9 p.m. Tuesday, Wensing said. The crash site is about 50 miles east of Cape Henry Lighthouse in Virginia Beach.
The dual-engine helicopter, which can carry about 12 people, was assigned to Combat Support Squadron 6 at Norfolk Naval Air Station.
The body, as well as some debris from the aircraft, was recovered by a search team from the Guam soon after the crash.
The Navy identified the helicopter pilots as Lt. Ronald J. Mobayed, 27, of Springfield, and Lt. Robert W. Vogel, 29, of Newtown, Conn. The crewmen were identified as Petty Officer 2nd Class Daniel R. Biddle, 26, of Burgoon, Ohio, an avionics electronic technician, and Petty Officer 3rd Class Eric M. Hakel, 23, of Mechanicsburg, Pa., an avionics electronic technician. The Navy said Biddle's body was recovered.
The cause of the crash is under investigation, Wensing said.