Helicopter crash in Florida kills 2

April 4, 2013 at 10:32 AM
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MIAMI, April 4 (UPI) -- A helicopter crash in Florida's Miami-Dade County killed two people, including the pilot, who two years earlier was involved in another crash, officials said.

The crash happened Wednesday shortly after the helicopter, a Robinson R-44, took off from Kendall-Tamiami Executive Airport, the Miami Herald reported.

Officials did not identify the victims, but friends at the scene said the deceased were pilot Mark Palmieri and passenger Ross Allan. Both men suffered severe chest injuries.

In March 2011, Palmieri crashed another helicopter into a remote area in the Everglades. He managed to call a friend after the crash before he passed out.

A massive search for Palmieri ensued and he was found unconscious just outside the pilot's door. He was hospitalized in critical condition for several days after the crash.

Local police, the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the recent crash.

NTSB investigator Patrick Murray said Wednesday that the helicopter may have collided with a bird.

"We have witnesses reporting there were birds in the area," he said.

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