The Oneida County Sheriff's Office is investigating a helicopter crash that took place at 1:47 PM Tuesday afternoon, on the runway at Griffiss International Airport.

According to the County Sheriff's Office, "three people were in the aircraft when the accident occurred. Two of the occupants were transported to Rome Hospital by ambulance, while the third signed off at the scene."

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Initial reports called for Mercy flight, but later told to stand down.

The Sheriff's Office says, "that the occupants stated the helicopter was approaching the runway to land when alarms began going off.  They say the aircraft lost power 20-30 feet above the ground and fell onto the skids before bouncing back up into the air and flipping on its left side.  All passengers were able to remove themselves from the wreck before first responders arrived on the scene."

photo courtesy of Oneida County Sheriff Rob Maciol

The pilot, Deekpak Dherny, 69 years old of Rome, NY, suffered from minor cuts to his hands and face.  The two other passengers; Charles Lewis, 53 years old of Lexington, South Carolina and Joseph Fernandez, 50 years old of Broomfield, Colorado were both transported via AmCare to Rome Hospital with shoulder and lower back injuries along with minor cuts.

None of the injuries are life threatening.

The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) was contacted and will be investigating the incident.  The Oneida County Sheriff's Office, AmCare Ambulance, Rome Fire Dept., Rome Police, Griffiss Airport Fire Dept. and Griffiss International Airport personnel responded to the scene.

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