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Pilot, passenger identified in helicopter crash at State Highway Patrol training facility

June 20, 2018 GMT

Authorities are investigating after a helicopter crashed at the Highway Patrol training facility on Tuesday afternoon in Raleigh.

Sgt. Michael Baker with the Highway Patrol said the helicopter was attempting to take off from the facility at Garner Road at about 2 p.m, but the pilot began having difficulty controlling the aircraft when it was about five feet in the air.

The helicopter tilted to its side and the rotor struck the ground, causing the helicopter to fall on its side. The tail portion of the helicopter broke off on impact, Baker said.

The pilot is identified as Trooper R. M. Collie, assigned to Troop I, District 4 in Wake County. The passenger is identified as Clint Stone, the assistant federal security director with TSA and the Federal Air Marshal Service.

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Baker said the Collie, who was assigned to the Highway Patrols’ Aviation Unit, and Stone were on board the helicopter at the time of the crash. Collie was taken to the Highway Patrol Medical Facility and Stone was taken to WakeMed, both with minor injuries.

“It’s a very sinking feeling when you see one of your helicopters lying on its side in the condition it’s in,” Baker said. “Were very fortunate the injuries were not worse in this crash.”

The NTSB and FAA will join the Highway Patrol Construction Unit to investigate the crash.