The pilot of an ultralight helicopter was in guarded condition in the intensive care unit at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester with injuries suffered in a flaming crash Tuesday, the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office reported Wednesday.
Deputies said Alan Heard, 64, of Waterport, was pulled from his craft by a passerby, Mark Bennett, of Waterport, who had stopped to watch him lift off at about 2 p.m. from Gaines Valley Aviation Airport, on Gaines-Waterport Road north of Albion. Bennett rolled Heard on the ground and cut his burning shirt off with a knife, the Sheriff's Office said.
Witnesses told deputies the Mosquito XE helicopter had climbed to more than 100 feet when they heard a popping and grinding noise and saw flames, the Sheriff's Office said.
FAA investigators were determining the cause of the crash, the Sheriff's Office said.
Story topics: Orleans County