Pilot critically injured during helicopter crash at Essex County Airport
Authorities say a man was critically injured during a helicopter crash Saturday afternoon in Fairfield.
Fairfield police say they received multiple 911 calls of a helicopter crash in Essex County Airport just after 12 p.m.
Police and first responders arrived at the scene and found the 33-year-old pilot from Marietta, Georgia, still in his seat and partially leaning out of the cockpit.
Police say he suffered injuries to his head.
First responders extricated him from the helicopter and he was transported to St. Joseph's University Medical Center in Paterson.
He is listed in critical condition.
According to the preliminary investigation, the pilot was taking off to pick up a private charter when the crash occurred. A witness at the scene says the helicopter was as high as 150 feet in the air when it began to spin and hit the ground.
The airport wash shut down and arriving flights were rerouted to nearby airports as firefighters secured the crash area to clean up a fuel spill from the helicopter.
The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Bureau are investigating.