Friday, December 26, 2014

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Southern Tier

Residents remember helicopter crash victim

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Residents remember helicopter crash victim
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One day after being killed in a helicopter crash, friends and community members in Watkins Glen remember Dale Crout, 41. As our Elyse Mickalonis tells us, the Schuyler County community is both shocked and saddened by his death.

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. -- Dale Crout, 41, was someone everyone knew in Watkins Glen.

“It’s definitely a sad loss for the whole community. He was very well-known around this area,” said Teresa Perry, a Watkins Glen resident. “Some of my family is close with the family. It’s definitely a horrific loss.”

Crout’s life was cut short during Thursday’s helicopter crash in Corning. He was one of two people killed. The other was Mackenzie Bleth, 24, of Oregon. He was piloting the chopper and worked for Haverfield Aviation. Crout was the passenger. He worked for NYSEG.

NYSEG released a statement Thursday saying they are "deeply saddened by this tragic accident. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families, friends and co-workers of the two men who were killed” in the crash.

Those in Watkins Glen are also feeling remorse.

“Everyone has some kind of connection with the family,” said Perry. “Someone who knew them or knew of them. It’s been sad hearing people talk about Dale and the family and how much he’s going to be missed.”

The Hughes 369D helicopter was contracted out by NYSEG to assist with the inspections. It crashed around noon on Thursday into a green area next to the Chemung River, bursting into flames. Officials believe the chopper got caught up in wires, while the crew was inspecting transmission lines.

Community members say they’re saddened by what’s happened and they plan to stick together to help the family and each other.

“Everybody rallies together and are there for each other and comfort each other,” said Perry. “Whether they knew him or not. They comfort the family and send their thoughts and prayers. We’re with them that way.”

Kind words for family and friends of Crout during a time when it counts the most.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation by the FAA and the NTSB.

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