News Chopper Crashes in NJ: 'Our Hearts Are Just Broken'

Pilot, photographer with Philly's WPVI-TV are dead after going down Tuesday in Wharton State Forest
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 20, 2023 8:57 AM CST
News Chopper Goes Down in Jersey Forest, Killing 2
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/bennymarty)

A news helicopter has crashed in a forest in New Jersey, killing both the pilot and photographer on board, the television station said, per the AP. "A pilot and a photographer from our news team were in the helicopter when it went down while returning from an assignment at the Jersey Shore" on Tuesday night, WPVI-TV in Philadelphia reported. "Both crew members were killed." The station didn't release their names pending notification of family members.

"Our hearts are just broken for these men. They're broken for their families," reporter Katherine Scott said Wednesday morning, reporting from near the scene of the crash. The crash happened sometime after 8pm ET in the woods in Wharton State Forest, in Hammonton, New Jersey, the station said. Video taken from a WTXF-TV helicopter over the wreckage site showed scattered debris, with some pieces on fire or smoking, as authorities searched with flashlights in the darkness.

"New Jersey State Police troopers were able to locate the crash site on the ground. It is very hard to access due to its location in the woods," the station said. It's unclear what caused the crash, the station said. WPVI-TV reported that it leases the helicopter from US Helicopters Inc., which is based in North Carolina. Emails seeking comment were sent Wednesday to New Jersey State Police, the New Jersey State Park Police, and the Federal Aviation Administration. Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board were to examine the wreckage Wednesday, authorities said.

(More helicopter crash stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.