Pa. Helicopter Crash Kills 5

Pilot warned he was losing altitude; weather may have played role

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Jul 29, 2013 12:03 AM CDT

(Newser) – Moments after a pilot told air traffic controllers he was losing altitude, his helicopter crashed in a rugged, wooded area of northeastern Pennsylvania, killing four adults and a child. The Wyoming County coroner said the pilot contacted a nearby tower around 10:30pm Saturday saying he would attempt to return to another airfield nearby. "That's when he went off radar," he said. The names and ages of those on board have not been released, but three men, a woman and a child were on board. "It appears to be a father and son, a father and daughter and the pilot," said the coroner.

The helicopter was bound for Jake Arner Memorial Airport in Lehighton, the FAA said. The coroner said there were severe thunderstorms in the area Saturday night, although it was not clear if weather played a role in the crash. The coroner and police said rough weather contributed to the difficulty of the search; the wreckage was located shortly before 2 p.m. Sunday. The National Transportation Safety Board will lead the investigation.

Wreckage of the helicopter, a Robinson 66 like this one, was located yesterday afternoon.
Wreckage of the helicopter, a Robinson 66 like this one, was located yesterday afternoon.   (Wikipedia/AlanBarclay)
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