BOTH people killed in a Mercy Flight helicopter crash on Tuesday afternoon have been identified.
Mercy Flight Pilot James Sauer died along with Bell Helicopter Flight Instructor Stewart M. Dietrick in the accident which occurred at approximately 1pm today.
“It goes without saying that as we deal with this unspeakable tragedy, our attention must be directed to the families of the lost and to our own employees,” said Margaret Ferrentino, President of Mercy Flight.
“This is a very dark day for the Mercy Flight family. We are so grateful for the expressions of love, concern and support from so many.”
Operations at Mercy Flight will be temporarily suspended to give staff time to process the tragedy, executive vice president Scott Wooton said.
“The Mercy Flight Communications Center remains operational and will direct any request to other resources in the region who are on standby to assist,” he added.
Sauer was a retired New York State police pilot. He began his collaboration with Mercy Flight in October 2020.
The 60-year-old was from Churchville, New York. As a member of the National Guard, he began his military career in 1979.
In September 2020 he retired from the military. Sauer was honored in Rochester with a traditional “final flight”.
Sauer has accumulated more than 6,100 flight hours between his military and civilian careers.
Dietrick, 60, was from Prosper, Texas.
The crash happened during a training exercise in the city of Elba, New York state. According to New York State Major Eugene Staniszewski, the helicopter took off from Genesee County Airport on a training mission.
State troops moved to the scene around 1 p.m. on Tuesday.
Footage from the scene shows the plane crashed on the edge of Norton Road.
The cause of the crash is still unknown, according to the New York Police Department. According to authorities, only two passengers were on board.
A police investigation is underway.
The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will assist in this.
Mercy Flight is an independent provider of emergency medical transport by air.
“Mercy Flight Central was made aware of a helicopter crash in western New York. At this point, all aircraft and employees are accounted for by Mercy Flight Central.
“Our thoughts are with everyone involved.” The company announced this in a statement 13WHAM.
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https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/18384155/mercy-flight-crash-killed-new-york/ Mercy Flight helicopter crash pilot James Sauer is one of two victims killed in a doomed training mission in Elba, New York