CUMBERLAND COUNTY, Pa. — 2 On Your Side has learned about the federal investigation looking into the crash that killed local businessmen Mark Croce and Mike Capriotto. One of the key parts of the investigation will focus on Croce's flying experience.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) told 2 On Your Side that they will be looking at a variety of factors, including the human, the environment and the machine. In other words, the pilot (Croce), the weather conditions and the Robinson Helicopter R66.
"We're going to be looking at the pilot's records, his maintenance records his health records," said NTSB Media Relations Terry Williams.
The FAA regulates what is needed for a pilot's medical certification. The NTSB will check to see if it's in compliance with federal regulations.
As for the helicopter, investigators will take a deeper look into it and when it was last serviced. They will also look at the condition of the helicopter, when it was built, and if there were any modifications.
Council President Darius Pridgen and his son were aboard the chopper a few months ago. He had nothing but rave reviews about Croce behind the controls.
"Literally we would fly over Buffalo from one neighborhood to the other neighborhood but when Mark Croce got behind the controls of the helicopter or the airplane he was happy, but he was so smart just one of the best pilots I've ever been with in my life," Pridgen said.
The NTSB's on-scene phase of the investigation has taken place.
"That entailed documenting where the helicopter came to rest and also documenting the helicopter at the site there," Williams said. "It was moved to a more secure location for further examination. The helicopter itself as well as the engine."
Williams added that they have interviewed several witnesses so far, which will be part of the record.
The NTSB is still in the early phase of this investigation, but Williams says the preliminary report will be out later this week or early next week. However, it will not contain analysis or determination of cause.