A photographer and pilot were killed after a local TV news helicopter crashed in New Jersey on Tuesday night.
The pilot and news photographer were on board ABC Action News‘ Chopper 6 when it crashed in a wooded area in Wharton State Forest near Hammonton, New Jersey just after 20:00 on Tuesday.
They were the only people aboard the 7-seat aircraft and were returning from an assignment at the Jersey Shore.
New Jersey state police found the wreckage deep in the forest, which spans 122,880 acres, just after midnight off Mulica River road. The site was reportedly very difficult to access due to its location in the woods.
According to ABC Action News, the television station is not releasing the names of the crew members who died as their family members are still being notified about the crash.
However, the local TV News outlet says the pair have a long history with our station and have been working as part of the ABC Action News team for years.
Cause of Crash is Unknown
It’s still unclear what caused the crash. However, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) have been notified and are investigating the cause of the crash.
ABC Action News uses the helicopter for many different beats, covering weather, traffic, and news stories.
“Chopper 6 and those who fly in it play an integral role in our news-gathering operation, accessing areas that are difficult to reach by ground, giving us everything from weather and beauty shots, traffic backups, and important information about news of the day,” ABC Action News writes.
The helicopter was a 2013 American Eurocopter AS-350A-STAR the WPVI leased through North Carolina-based US Helicopters Inc. It was last seen airborne flying over the state forest at 20:03 according to FlightAware.
Colleagues and fellow reporters paid tribute to the photographer and pilot after it emerged they had died in the crash.
Two people who helped bring you the news every day lost their lives while on the job last night. Chopper 6 crashed in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey.
All of us at 6abc want to express our deepest condolences to their family and friends. https://t.co/jjmAKiLL35
— Matt O'Donnell (@matt_odonnell) December 20, 2023
“Two people who helped bring you the news every day lost their lives while on the job last night,” ABC Action News news anchor Matt O’Donnell writes on X (formerly known as Twitter).
“All of us at 6abc want to express our deepest condolences to their family and friends.”