Friday, September 1, 2023 at 3:18 pm
South Brunswick, New Jersey (WABC) — The pilot who died in the helicopter crash in South Brunswick on Thursday has been identified as Israeli Josef Yitzhak, 44.
The single-seat, single-engine Robinson R22 helicopter crashed into a canal near Lake Carnegie near the Old Lincoln Highway at around 3:45 p.m.
(Video in media player is from previous coverage)
South Brunswick police said the helicopter crashed just four minutes after taking off from Princeton Airport, about three miles from the crash site.
A captain at the Kingston Fire Station noticed the helicopter was flying erratically and notified dispatchers. Two other witnesses also saw the helicopter crackle and turn before crashing below the treeline.
Despite some difficulties due to the wooded location, first responders were on the scene within five minutes.
When they arrived, they found the helicopter lying in the water. The FAA said the plane was completely destroyed.
A responding police officer and firefighters went into approximately 3 feet of water and saw the pilot of the helicopter over the shoulder. The pair lifted the helicopter, pulled the pilot out from below, and dragged it to the shoreline.
He was too seriously injured to perform life-saving measures, officials said.
Authorities worked overnight with the Israeli consulate and Israeli police to notify his family. South Brunswick Chief Raymond Heduka offered his deepest condolences to the pilot’s family.
About three dozen first responders responded.
Fortunately, no one on the ground was injured in the accident, and the surrounding trees were not damaged.
The helicopter company boss also responded at the scene.
The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the cause of the crash.
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