A helicopter has crashed during a charity event near the unforgiving 8th hole of the Mountain Valley Golf Course, in Schuylkill County Pennsylvania.
Federal Aviation Administration investigators arrived Saturday and recovered the black box, discovering the final transmission from the chopper being "FORE!"
Pilot Al Roman and the copilot Joseph Matteo were flown to nearby hospitals. Matteo was listed in critical condition Saturday at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville. Roman was listed in fair condition at Reading Hospital and Medical Center. Ironically, the event was organized to raise money for Access Services, a group that helps people with disabilities.
The chopper was supposed to fly over the course and drop 1,500 numbered golf balls. The person whose ball was closest to the pin would have won 50 percent of ticket sales. "The first time it flew over, it didn't sound right, it was making a rapping sound," witness Bob Ryan said. "He came down and then went up about 100 feet, and that is when I saw him go down."
Ettore DiCasimirro helped pull pilot Al Roman from the wreckage.
"The other guy didn't want us to move him," DiCasimirro said. "I was afraid (the helicopter) was going to blow up but I didn't know how to shut it off."
There is currently no word what caused the accident.
Coincidentally, this is not the first time a helicopter has crashed on a golf course. A helicopter crashed on Ormonde Fields Golf Club in Derbyshire England in June 2007. The 65-year-old pilot, who lived locally, walked away from the crash with slight injuries.
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