Stevensville, Maryland (ANN) – As the Arundel News Network covered on Saturday two men lost their lives on Saturday afternoon when their helicopter crashed off of the coast of Kent Island int he Chesepeake Bay.
The helicopter was owned by Monument Helicopters out of Tipton Airport, adjacent to Fort Meade. They are the only helicopter service out of Tipton.
The helicopter departed Tipton, a non-towered airport, around 11:40 a.m. according to tracking website FlightAware.com. The last tracking data that is available was around 12:15 p.m. where the helicopter was about 300 feet. The helicopter flew adjacent to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and then over Kent Island anywhere from 200-400 feet.
A 9-1-1 call came into the Communications Center for Queen Anne’s county just prior to 12:20 p.m for a possible aircraft down in the area of Bloody Point. Units from Queen Anne’s Anne Arundel, Talbot Counties, Annapolis City, MD State Police, and the United States Coast Guard responded to assist in response to the aircraft crash.
During the first press conference officials stated that the aircraft was a non-military helicopter from Tipton Airport and that a debris field was found.
The Maryland Department of Natural Resource Police announced on their Facebook Page on Sunday morning that the two bodies were recovered along with the crash wreckage about 8:00 p.m. on Saturday evening. The pilot was identified as Charles Knight 38-years-old from Mt. Airy, Maryland. The passenger was Matt Clark, 36-years-old from Pasadena, Maryland. They were found in 55 feet of water.
The aircraft crashed just south of Kent Island and was outside the Washington SFRA.
The Natural Resource Police is working with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) concerning the fatal crash.
According to FAA Records, Mr. Knight received his private license for rotorcraft-helicopter on April 21, 2018, and had a second class medical license. According to the FAA, a second-class medical license is generally for a commercial pilot.
The helicopter in question was registered as N572MD. It was registered to JSC Investment Group LLC but operated by Monumental Helicopters. Monumental Helicopters released an e-mail statement in part stating that that the helicopter was rented to a private pilot this morning and was cooperating with the Maryland State Police and Federal authorities in the investigation.
Monumental Helicopters obtained the helicopter in 2017 and was a Cabri G2 and had an airworthiness certificate valid from 3/16/17 through 3/31/2020.
No cause of the crash has yet been identified.
The Arundel News Network will continue to follow this developing story.