Action News Chopper 6 photographer pilot killed in crash identified


The Philadelphia news photographer and helicopter pilot who died in a crash in New Jersey Tuesday night have been identified by the station.

The photographer who died was Christopher Dougherty, 45, of Orland, Pennsylvania, and the pilot was Monroe Smith, 67, of Glenside, Pennsylvania, WPVI reported on its website.

Both have worked with the local store for years.

“We are devastated by the news that two members of our extended 6ABC family were lost last night when Chopper 6 went down while returning from an assignment at the Jersey Shore,” a spokesperson told The Post in a statement.

“Our hearts break as we send our deepest condolences and prayers to their families, loved ones and everyone at US Helicopters,” the station said.

Photojournalist Christopher Doherty died in the crash on Tuesday night. Chris Dougherty / Facebook
The helicopter went down in a remote area of ​​Wharton State Forest in the New Jersey Pine Barrens. WPVI

The two were returning to Philadelphia from an assignment at the Jersey Shore when the helicopter went down in Washington Township in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey just after 8 p.m.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board, officials said.

The 2013 American Eurocopter AS-350A-STAR helicopter was based out of Northeast Philadelphia Airport, where it departed shortly after 7:30 p.m. for an assignment in the Atlantic County town of Galloway, according to the outlet.

Flight data indicated the helicopter’s altitude had dropped as it returned to Philadelphia. It crashed in a remote section of the Wharton State Forest.

Helicopter 6ABC went down in New Jersey shortly after 8 p.m Chris Dougherty / Facebook

The fiery field of debris was discovered by New Jersey State Park Police shortly after midnight.

FAA officials arrived at the scene around 3:15 p.m., 6ABC reported. The NTSB is leading the investigation, and a preliminary report is expected within 30 days.

6ABC leased the helicopter through North Carolina-based US Helicopters Inc, where Smith worked for 18 years, according to his LinkedIn profile.

The airline told 6ABC in a statement that the pilot and photographer were two “beloved” longtime employees. They said they are cooperating with investigators to determine the cause of the crash.

“We deeply sympathize with their families and share their grief as a result of this tragic event. We will share arrangements in accordance with the families’ wishes,” the company said.

6ABC thanks local viewers for their support at this difficult time.

“We want to thank all of you for your words of comfort and your condolences as we mourn the loss of our colleagues,” the station said in a report.

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