Sheriff’s Office Helicopter Crashes Near South Carolina Airport, Pilot Survives

Sheriff’s Office Helicopter Crashes Near South Carolina Airport, Pilot Survives
Charleston International Airport in North Charleston, S.C., in June 2017. (Google Maps/Screenshot via NTD)

CHARLESTON, S.C.—Flights at Charleston International Airport were suspended for around two hours on Tuesday after a South Carolina sheriff’s department helicopter crashed, leaving the pilot with non-life threatening injuries, officials said.

Citing an “ongoing incident,” the airport announced it was halting flights just after 3:45 p.m. via a post on social media. The Charleston County Sheriff’s Office posted that a helicopter had crashed and that crews were on the scene.

Less than two hours later, the airport sent an update saying one of its runways had reopened and that flights were resuming.

Charleston County Aviation Authority Executive Director Elliott Summey told WCIV-TV that the helicopter’s pilot anticipated the crash and maneuvered the aircraft to the middle of the airfield before the helicopter went down. Summey told the television station that the helicopter is “in shambles.”

The pilot was the only person on the helicopter and his injuries were not considered life threatening, the sheriff’s office said on social media. The office said the pilot reported a malfunction with the aircraft shortly before the crash, and that the National Transportation Safety Board is handling the investigation.

Sheriff’s deputies would remain on the scene Tuesday night to help document the crash site, officials said.

When reached for comment, a Charleston International Airport administrative representative said they had no further information to share with The Associated Press. The Charleston County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to a voicemail and an email seeking more information.