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Helicopter 'landed hard and rolled over' in Ronkonkoma accident, FAA source says

A small helicopter with two men onboard crashed

A small helicopter with two men onboard crashed on Aug. 19, 2015 at Long Island MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma injuring both men aboard. Photo Credit: Chris Sabella

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating a helicopter crash that injured two Wednesday night at Long Island MacArthur Airport, officials said.

The pilot, a flight instructor, and a student passenger had "no external injuries," though airport Commissioner Robert Schaefer said both were taken to a hospital. An FAA source said Thursday the helicopter was a Robinson R22.

About 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, it made a hard landing and rolled over on its side in a grassy area near the airport, the source said. Both victims, men in their 30s, were speaking after the crash, Schaefer said Wednesday night.

"They were pretty calm," Schaefer said. Neither man has been identified.

Schaefer said he could not identify the flight school or say whether the helicopter was based at the airport. The crash occurred about 150 feet away from two airport runways while the pilot was teaching the student how to hover the helicopter.

"They were . . . a foot or two off the ground, Schaefer said. The pilot "overcompensated, and it went on its side."

With Nicole Fuller

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