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Missing Navy Pilot in Virginia Helicopter Crash Identified

U.S. Coast Guard photo by Fireman Samantha May/Released(NORFOLK, Va.) -- The U.S. Navy pilot who went missing after a helicopter went down off the coast of Virginia Beach, Va., earlier this week has been identified as Lt. Sean Christopher Snyder.

In a statement Thursday, the Navy said Snyder's wife asked that his name be released.  The 39-year-old pilot is from Santee, Calif.

Snyder was one of five crew members on board the MH-53E "Sea Dragon" when it crashed 20 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach during a routine training mission Wednesday morning.  The four other sailors were rescued but two later died of their injuries.

The Navy has identified the deceased crew members as Lt. J. Wesley Van Dorn, 29, of Greensboro, N.C.; and Naval Aircrewman Brian Andrew Collins, 25, of Truckee, Calif.

As far as the two surviving sailors, one was released from the hospital on Thursday and the other remains hospitalized.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation.  The Navy, along with help from the U.S. Coast Guard, continues to search for Snyder.

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