Maine man severely injured in Sanford helicopter crash

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First responders gather near the site of a helicopter crash at Sanford Regional Airport on Satruday. (Sanford Police photo)

SANFORD, Maine - A helicopter crashed at the Sanford Regional Airport on Saturday, severely injuring the Maine pilot who was reportedly practicing low-altitude maneuvers just before it plummeted to the ground.

Rescue crews rushed to the scene around 10:25 a.m. and found the crash occurred inside the secure airport facility next to one of the runways. Upon arrival responding emergency personnel found citizens tending to the pilot outside the aircraft on the ground. Fire Department personnel took over medical assessment and treatment, said Sanford Police Sgt. Jason Wagner.

Witnesses to the accident reported the helicopter appeared to be practicing landing and/or near-ground maneuvers when the aircraft began rotating in an uncontrolled spin, according to Wagner.

The aircraft's sole occupant was pilot Jack White, 50, of Bowdoinham, who was piloting a Robinson R44 helicopter, according to an email from the Federal Aviation Administration. White suffered severe injuries and was transported to Maine Medical Center in Portland.

An investigating officer learned White's flight was part of a helicopter licensing process, and he had flown from Sanford Regional Airport to multiple Maine and New Hampshire locations before returning to Sanford to complete his flight.

The cause of the crash is under investigation by the FAA and the NTSB.

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