Authorities said the incident was connected to the rally, but declined to elaborate. The FFA has also confirmed the aircraft was a Virginia State Police helicopter. The pilot, Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates died at the scene. No one on the ground was injured.
#charlottesvilepic.twitter.com/lGdn4IGnmE— Emma Eisner (@em_eisner) August 12, 2017
Helicopter just crashed in #Charlottesvillepic.twitter.com/9exI5vXB2B— byroncocke (@byroncocke) August 12, 2017
Shortly after the helicopter went down, Donald Trump expressed his condolences via Twitter.
Deepest condolences to the families & fellow officers of the VA State Police who died today. You're all among the best this nation produces.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 12, 2017
The National Transportation Safety Board, FFA, and state police are investigating the crash. Authorities said there is no indication of foul play.
“Our state police and law enforcement family at-large are mourning this tragic outcome to an already challenging day,” Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent, said. “Lieutenant Cullen was a highly respected professional aviator and Trooper-Pilot Bates was a welcome addition to the Aviation Unit, after a distinguished assignment as a special agent with our Bureau of Criminal Investigation.Read more at Complex