New Jersey

Helicopter flew ‘erratically' before crashing into NJ canal, killing pilot

NBC Universal, Inc.

A helicopter pilot died Thursday afternoon when his aircraft fell from the sky, crashing into a New Jersey canal nearly three miles from where it took off.

Federal and local officials confirmed that a Robinson 22 helicopter went down around 3:30 p.m., landing in a canal near Carnegie Lake in South Brunswick Township. The pilot had taken off from Princeton Airport, located nearby.

First responders managed to pull the pilot from the wreckage, but officials said injuries sustained in the crash proved fatal. No one else was on board, and authorities said no one on the ground was hurt.

Officials said a firefighter from a stationhouse located in the area witnessed the helicopter “flying erratically” before dropping out of sight.

"We received a radio transmission from a local firefighter that he observed a helicopter in the air that appeared to go down," Deputy Chief Jim Ryan, with South Brunswick Police, said.

While 911 fielded calls from other witnesses, Captain Chuck Pisano and another nearby officer raced to the wooded crash site near Carnegie Lake and Route 27.

"They saw the helicopter partially submerged and the pilots shoulder sticking out. They lifted the helicopter off to get him out of the helicopter," Ryan said.

As quick as the police were, there was nothing that could be done to save the pilot.

The 1993 aircraft took off from Princeton Airport shortly before 3:30 p.m., then circled the area briefly before coming to a crash. The helicopter is registered to a company based at the airport.

Authorities have not released the pilot's name. Police did say he is not from the U.S. and has only been in the country for less than two weeks.

Copyright NBC New York
Contact Us