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Two Injured In Chatham Helicopter Crash

CHATHAM (CBS) – Two people were hospitalized after a helicopter crash Friday afternoon in Chatham.

Just before 1 p.m., a 2002 Robinson Helicopter, known as a Rotocraft, crashed on the shoreline of Crows Pond.

Two people became trapped in the wreckage and needed to be freed by first responders.

"I heard 'boom.' You could just hear it hitting. I called the police right away," said witness Eva Japowicz, who saw the crash from her kitchen.

chatham helicopter crash
The damaged helicopter at the edge of Crows Pond Friday afternoon. (WBZ-TV)

John Ryan of Scituate was the pilot of the helicopter and Acushnet resident Tyra Pacheco was the passenger.

Ryan was brought to Cape Cod Hospital and was discharged Friday night. Pacheco was flown to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston with critical injuries.

"She was really crying and screaming the whole time because she was hurt badly. He was just trying to calm her. He was hurt too, but I think not as much as her," Japowicz said.

Chatham Helicopter Crash
A helicopter crash victim is loaded onto MedFlight in Hyannis. (WBZ-TV)

Witnesses told police the helicopter was flying low over shoreline homes and the engine began sputtering before making what they described as an "emergency forced landing."

Police believe the helicopter, which was being flown out of Plymouth Airport, had been hired for a local real estate company to take aerial photography.

According to the website for Heliops, a helicopter charter company, Ryan has been a pilot for 30 years.

John Ryan Chatham Crash
John Ryan. (Image Credit: Heliops)

Peter Conner knows Ryan from working alongside each other at Plymouth Airport. He described him as a pro pilot.

"He's a very qualified, vastly experienced helicopter pilot," Conner said. "So, I'm sure something went amiss there. I don't think John messed up."

Federal investigators are expected to arrive at the crash site on Saturday.


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