BY CBS NEWS PHILADELPHIA STAFF

WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBS) — Federal investigators will travel to New Jersey Wednesday after a local Philadelphia news helicopter crashed in the Wharton State Forest Tuesday night, killing the pilot and photographer onboard.

State park police found the wreckage in a wooded area off Mullica River Road in Washington Township, Burlington County, just after midnight after getting reports that a helicopter had gone missing in the area.

The chopper was contracted through U.S. Helicopters and worked for Philadelphia’s 6ABC WPVI.

According to 6ABC, the helicopter went down after 8 p.m. The pilot and photographer were contracted with U.S. Helicopters and part of the 6ABC family, the station said. The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed Wednesday that they were the only two people onboard the Eurocopter AS350B2 helicopter.

6ABC said the chopper crashed as the crew made its way back from an assignment in Galloway Township.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy shared his sympathies with the 6ABC team Wednesday morning, writing on social media, “Our deepest condolences go out to the Action News family following last night’s helicopter crash in Wharton State Forest.”

During a press conference, New Jersey State Park Police Chief George Fedorczyk said because of the remote location of the crash and low visibility overnight, the crash investigation was suspended until later in the morning.

Fedorczyk said the National Transportation Safety Board will lead the investigation into what led to the crash, and NTSB crew and FAA representatives are expected to arrive later in the day.

“Our thoughts are with the pilots, their families and the media community,” Fedorczyk said.

As part of their investigation, the NTSB said investigators will look at flight track data, maintenance records, weather conditions, flight experience and witnesses statements, among other records. The agency said a final report is expected between 12-24 months.

The investigation is expected to remain active throughout the day, and people are being asked to stay clear of the areas around Quaker Bridge Road, Mullica River Road and Mill Road.

CBS Philadelphia extends our condolences to our fellow journalists and staff at 6ABC.

https://www.cbsnews.com/philadelphia/news/6abc-news-helicopter-crashes-in-south-jersey/