New Jersey

Chopper Goes Down at New Jersey Apartment Complex

A helicopter was forced to make an emergency landing behind an apartment complex in Chatham, New Jersey, Friday evening, and its tail hit a garage on the way down, authorities say. 

The Robinson R44 helicopter was going from Richmond, Virginia to Lincoln Park, New Jersey when something went wrong, and the chopper was forced to make an emergency landing just after 6:30 p.m.

The FAA says the helicopter, a Robinson R44, is registered to a Delaware address.

Resident Kathryn Hill said she heard a big pop and ran outside to find a small helicopter with its rotor clipped and tail bent over the roof of a garage.

Video obtained by NBC 4 New York shows the chopper's passenger on the ground as people tried to help. 

The FAA called it an off-site airport landing; neighbors say it sounded much worse.

"It was like a giant car crash, when you hear the big pop of a giant truck," said Hill. 

"Cop cars, ambulances, fire trucks," said witness Stephanie Krauss. "It was just, looked like a horrible scene when I pulled up." 

Local leaders say the pilot picked a lucky spot, considering what's around there. 

"We've got New Jersey Transit rail lines right behind us, we've got Jersey Central and PSE&G power lines just two blocks away," said Assistant Borough Administrator Steve Williams. 

The 54-year-old pilot walked away without injuries, local officials said. His passenger was taken to the hospital complaining of neck pains. 

The FAA will investigate what caused the helicopter to go down. Authorities are expected to remove the aircraft over the weekend. 

Contact Us