NTSB working with VSP to investigate helicopter crash

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ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (NEWSPLEX) — The National Transportation Safety Board has issued an update on the fatal helicopter crash that killed two Virginia State Police troopers on Saturday.

According to the statement released Monday afternoon, the helicopter was providing a continuous video feed of activities on the ground during the Unite the Right rally, along with several other helicopters.

The helicopter had left from the Charlottesville Albemarle Airport just before 4 p.m. and was in the downtown area until about 4:45 p.m. when it was redirected to provide support for a motorcade that was transporting Governor Terry McAuliffe.

According to a release, the helicopter was heading north-northeast at an altitude of 2,300 feet shortly before the crash.

The first call to emergency services regarding the crash was received around 4:45 p.m. when the helicopter went down about seven miles southwest of CHO.

The release says the main wreckage of the crash came to rest about 100 yards from where the aft portion of the helicopter’s tail boom become lodged in a tree.

The helicopter caught fire after the crash.

The NTSB says there was no distress call from the helicopter, and the craft was not equipped with a flight data recorder or a cockpit voice recorder, which it is not required to have.

The NTSB and VSP are interviewing witnesses, and investigators are working with local authorities to recover the wreckage.

The release says a preliminary report on the circumstances of the crash will be available online within two or three weeks.

The entire investigation is expected to take between 12 and 18 months.

Pilot Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen of Midlothian and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates of Quinton died at the scene of the crash in Albemarle County.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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