The pilot was 67-year-old Monroe Smith of Glenside, Pa. and the photographer was 45-year-old Christopher Dougherty of Oreland, Pa.
The station said the two have a long history with our station and have been working as part of the Action News team for years.
“Our hearts are just broken for these men. They’re broken for their families,” reporter Katherine Scott said during a report on WPVI. “We just can’t believe this has happened.”
Flight tracker data shows the helicopter’s altitude dropping while returning to Philadelphia. Chopper 6 was last airborne over Wharton State Forest before it crashed in a remote section of the woods.
Chopper 6 was a 2013 American Eurocopter AS-350 Astar, which 6abc leases from U.S. Helicopters Inc. based in North Carolina.
“We deeply sympathize with their families and share in their grief as a result of this tragic event. We will share arrangements in accordance with the families’ wishes,” U.S. Helicopters said in a statement. “We will cooperate with the FAA and other authorities during their investigation and are still gathering information, so we cannot comment or provide further information on the cause of this tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of our cherished colleagues.”