Officials: Strong wind gust to blame for helicopter crash at Taunton Municipal Airport

TAUNTON, MASS. (WHDH) - A strong gust of wind caused a helicopter to crash shortly after takeoff at Taunton Municipal Airport on Tuesday, officials said.

Emergency crews responding to a report of a crash at the airport about 12:30 p.m. found a Robinson R44 helicopter on its side, according to the Taunton Fire Department.

The pilot and passenger, both adult men, were not injured in the crash. Their names have not been released.

An initial investigation indicates that the pilot was taking off when a strong gust of wind caused it to tilt and fall onto its side, officials said.

The helicopter cab and rotor blade are said to have sustained significant damage. The pilot was able to shut the aircraft down and both men were able to safely evacuate.

The helicopter had come from New Bedford and landed in Taunton as part of a training program. The instructor was attempting to depart on a return flight when the crash occurred.

A small fuel spill at the scene was quickly contained and cleaned up.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating.

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