Dead Pilot In NJ Helicopter Crash Was Retired NYPD Officer
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The pilot who died when a small helicopter crashed in New Jersey on Saturday has been identified as a retired NYPD officer.
New Jersey police say Staten Island resident Michael Scarfia, 65, went down with the twin-engine helicopter to a cornfield shortly after noon in West Windsor, near Trenton.
They say the former policeman showed concern for others in diverting the failing helicopter into a cornfield and away from crowded shopping malls.
"Thankfully it's extremely challenging to get to the site. We were very thankful that this did not occur over a populated area, where it would have been a thousand times worse than what it is now," said West Windsor Police Lieutenant Robert Garofalo.
Scarfia was apparently the only person on board.
It is not clear what caused the helicopter to go down, but a police lieutenant said several people reported a flock of birds appeared to make contact with the it shortly before it crashed.
Authorities are still investigating.