2 injured in helicopter crash at Griffiss International Airport in Rome

Two people were hospitalized after a helicopter crashed at Griffiss International Airport in Rome Tuesday afternoon.

Posted: Jun 29, 2021 3:49 PM
Updated: Jun 29, 2021 5:18 PM

ROME, N.Y. (UPDATED) – Two people were hospitalized after a helicopter crashed at Griffiss International Airport in Rome Tuesday afternoon.

Oneida County Sheriff Robert Maciol says the crash happened around 1:45 p.m., when a civilian helicopter was trying to land at the airport.

Keith Hunt // WKTV

The three men on board the aircraft told Maciol as they were approaching the runway to land, warning alarms went off, and the helicopter lost power about 20 – 30 feet above the ground. The helicopter fell onto its landing skids and bounced back in the air, landing again and rolling onto its side.

All three passengers were able to get out before emergency responders arrived to the scene.

The pilot, 69-year-old Deekpak Dherny, of Rome, suffered minor cuts on his head and face, but signed off on medical care at the scene.

The other two passengers were injured and taken to Rome Health for treatment. Charles Lewis, 53, of Lexington, South Carolina, injured his left shoulder and had minor cuts. The other passenger, 50-year-old Joseph Fernandez of Broomfield, Colorado, sustained a lower back injury and minor cuts as well.

None of the injuries are considered life-threatening.

Maciol says the Federal Aviation Administration was contacted and will investigate the crash.

AmCare Ambulance, Rome Fire Department, Rome Police Department, Griffis Airport Fire Department and Griffis International Airport personnel all assisted at the scene.

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