UPDATE: Lance Cpl. Jefferson with Marine Corp Base Quantico confirmed the marines were assisting with helicopter training over Richmond on Wednesday. Jefferson would not go into detail about the nature of the training, nor the types of aircraft flying over Central Virginia. Frederickburg.com reported two CH53 Echo Super Stallion helicopters were training in the region and returned to North Carolina last night.
RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – Social media was abuzz early Thursday morning over a buzzing sound in the skies over Central Virginia. Loud noises, that sounded like low-flying helicopters, woke-up some sleeping Richmonders around midnight.
CBS 6 WTVR Richmond (@CBS6) February 21, 2013
Matthew Killorin (@matt_kay) February 21, 2013
@CBS6 I can report that I was on phone 1215-1230 in museum district and my phone cut out twice.—
Mike Dickinson (@MikeD_PhD) February 21, 2013
Richmond Family Mag (@RVAFamilyMag) February 21, 2013
We do know soldiers were conducting “airfield operations and air traffic training” yesterday at Fort Pickett’s Blackstone Army Airfield. The airfield sits about 60 miles southwest of Richmond. However Virginia National Guard spokesman Cotton Puryear said that training, some of which happens at midnight, took place in and around Fort Pickett.
According to the Virginia National Guard Public Affairs office, the soldiers were training in a variety of areas including air traffic control tower operations, air space management and refueling operations. The soldiers conducted “fly-ability checks” using a new mobile radar system designed to help pilots land in low-visibility conditions.
We are still working to confirm what made the noises over Richmond last night.