PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — It’s been a devastating day for the Action News team after a Tuesday night crash killed two crew members aboard Helicopter 6.
A pilot and a photographer were on board when the helicopter went down in Washington Township, New Jersey around 8 p.m.
The names of the dead crew have not been released at this time as family members are still being notified of the crash.
They have a long history with our station and have served as part of the Action News team for many years.
“Our hearts are broken for these men. They are broken for their families,” reporter Kathryn Scott said during a report on Action News. “We can’t believe this happened.”
The cause of the accident remains under investigation.
The New Jersey State Park Police said a debris field was located in the area of Middle Road and Quaker Bridge Addition Road, a few hundred yards from Mullica River Road, just after midnight.
Helicopter 6 was last flown in the Wharton State Forest when it crashed in a remote area of the forest.
The region is part of the New Jersey Pinelands, a million-acre forested area that stretches over seven counties and features dense forests, rivers, and rare plant species.
The National Transportation Safety Board arrived at the scene of the crash at 3:15 a.m. Wednesday and took over the investigation.
Official announcement after Action News Helicopter 6 crash kills 2 crew members
“Due to the remote location of the scene and low visibility, it was determined at that time that the investigation would be suspended until dawn,” said Chief George Fedorczyk of the New Jersey State Park Police. “Please know that our thoughts are with the pilots, their families and the media community.”
A helicopter from a fellow Philadelphia television station captured video of the wreckage.
Quaker Bridge Road, Mullica River Road and Middle Road — all unpaved local roads inside the woods — are closed as the investigation continues, state park police say.
Helicopter 6 is a 2013 American Eurocopter AS-350A-STAR manufactured by US Helicopters Inc. in North Carolina. 6abc leased from.
US Helicopters Inc. We know how to stay in touch with families.
How the NTSB Will Investigate the Helicopter 6 Crash
A spokesperson for the National Transportation Safety Board told Action News that investigators will begin the process of documenting the scene and examining the helicopter on Wednesday.
The helicopter will then be flown to a safe location for evaluation.
“NTSB investigations cover three main areas: the pilot, the aircraft and the operating environment,” spokeswoman Jennifer Caprice said.
Information and records the NTSB examines include flight path data, air traffic control communications, maintenance records, weather conditions, pilot’s license and flight experience, pilot’s 72-hour background check, witness statements, and possible information from electronic devices. And all available surveillance video – including doorbell cameras.
“During the scene phase of the investigation process, the NTSP has not determined or speculated on the cause of the accident,” Grabis said.
A preliminary report will be available within 30 days.
Important role of helicopter 6 in action news
Helicopter 6 and those who fly it play a vital role in our newsgathering operation, providing us with everything from access to hard-to-reach areas by ground, weather and beauty views, traffic backups and vital information about the day’s news.
Helicopter Helicopter was launched on 6 February 1980.
It was the first television news helicopter in Philadelphia.
Thank you Action News for your support
As we mourn the loss of our colleagues, we would like to thank all of you for your words of comfort and your condolences.
Your support has been overwhelming and we are grateful.
“Absolutely heartbreaking. Prayers for their families and their work family,” Rosalyn Rosa wrote on the Action News Facebook page.
“Thoughts and prayers to the families, friends and co-workers,” Carolyn Brady wrote.
Stay with Action News and 6abc.com as this story develops.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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