NTSB, FAA investigating cause of fatal helicopter crash that killed 2 pilots

Authorities embrace while working near the scene of a deadly helicopter crash near Charlottesville, Va., on Saturday Aug. 12, 2017. (Shelby Lum/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Virginia State Police are working together in order to investigate the cause of Saturday's fatal helicopter crash that killed two state police pilots outside of Charlottesville.

According to officials, the Virginia State Police Bell 407 helicopter crashed in a wooded area on Old Farm Road in Albemarle County at around 4:51 p.m. The cause of the crash is currently unknown.

Lt. H. Jay Cullen, 48, of Midlothian, Va., and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates, of Quinton, Va., were assisting crews on the ground during Saturday's unrest at a white nationalist rally in the city of Charlottesville before the chopper went down.

Cullen and Bates were pronounced dead at the scene.

Authorities say Cullen was promoted to Aviation Unit Commander in February after joining the Virginia State Police Aviation unit in 1999. Bates transferred to the unit in July of this year, after working at the State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

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