ROME, NY - Representatives of the U.S. Army and the federal Nation Transportation Safety Board are at the Oneida County Airport Friday morning to investigate Thursday night's incident involving an Army helicopter. A military helicopter collided with the control tower at the Oneida County Airport late Thursday night. Six soldiers were on board the aircraft. They sustained minor injuries. Damage to the tower structure was minimal and the tower remained functioning.
The incident at Griffiss International Airport occurred around 11:05PM Thursday. The helicopter, based at Fort Drum in Watertown, had been conducting touch and go drills at Griffiss and was not airborne at the time of the collision. It was in the process of taxiing on the airport tarmac when the rotor blade of the helicopter struck the tower. The helicopter remained upright at the base of the tower. The county airport is a former Air Force S.A.C. base.
The Oneida County Sheriff Office reported that one of the six soldiers on board was taken to a local hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. .
Rome Police and Fire departments were called to the airport, along with the Oneida County Sheriff Department, New York State Police and Amcare Ambulance, who responded to the call for the incident.
Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente, Oneida County Director of Emergency Services Kevin Revere and Oneida County Aviation Commissioner Chad Lawrence were all at the scene to assess the situation and the damage to the Control Tower. The tower was unmanned at the time of the incident.
County Executive Picente said that the accident will be investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board. The airport did not close and is expected to be open for air traffic on Friday.
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