According to NBC News, the chopper, a Eurocopter AS350, was on loan from Helicopter Inc. of Cahokia, Ill., while KOMO’s regular one had new equipment installed. Gary Pfitzner, the chopper’s pilot, and Bill Strothman, a former KOMO photographer, were killed in the accident.
WBZ reports the chopper was used in Boston for 10 years and flown to Detroit last November.
KOMO shares a helicopter with KING, the NBC affiliate in Seattle. “Words cannot express the sympathy and sadness we feel for the victims who lost their lives in today’s tragedy and for their families,” KING president and general manager Ray Heacox said in a statement. “We grieve this afternoon with the entire Seattle community and our thoughts are with all those affected.”[h/t WBZ managing editor Pete Wilson]