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Names of men who died in helicopter crash released

UPDATE, Friday (Noon): According to the helicopter’s registration with the Federal Aviation Administration, the aircraft was a Rotocraft R66, manufactured...

UPDATE, Friday (Noon): According to the helicopter's registration with the Federal Aviation Administration, the aircraft was a Rotocraft R66, manufactured by Robinson Helicopter Co.

The helicopter was manufactured in 2019, according to the FAA.

According to WGRZ-TV (Buffalo) investigative reporter Steve Brown, the National Transportation Safety Board said the helicopter was flying from Baltimore to Buffalo. The Robinson R66 has a range of 400 miles with a full tank of gas, and the flight from Baltimore to Buffalo (275 air miles) is well within that range.

According to a public records search, Croce did have a current pilot’s license.

Original Coverage

CUMBERLAND COUNTY, Pa. -- The Cumberland County Coroner has identified the two men that died in a helicopter crash in Silver Spring Township Thursday night.

Coroner Charley Hall identified the victims as Mark D. Croce and Michael Capriotto, both of Orchard Park, New York.

Hall says Croce, 58, was piloting the plane, and Capriotto, 63, was a passenger.

The helicopter was going from Baltimore to Buffalo, New York when the crash occurred.

The mayor of Buffalo, Byron W. Brown, and the Erie County Sheriff's Department tweeted the following statements Friday morning:

The helicopter crashed to the rear of a residence in the first block of Irongate Court at around 8:30 p.m. Thursday, according to Cumberland County PIO John Bruetsch.

There's no damage to the home on Irongate Court or to anyone else in the area, Bruetsch says.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are both investigating the crash.

According to WGRZ-TV in Buffalo, Croce is among the most recognizable names on the Buffalo business scene. He began as a successful restaurateur, opening, among other businesses, the Buffalo Chop House. Over the past decade he has concentrated on higher profile projects.

Croce bought the former Statler Hilton in 2011 for $200,000, plus $500,000 in back taxes that he paid to clear the building's past debts. He renamed it Statler City, and invested over $7 million in an overhaul of the first three floors to create a successful banquet and events center, which reopened on Dec. 31, 2011.

Three years ago, Croce opened a rehabbed a 1911 office building under the new name, The Curtiss Hotel. The high-tech lighting, revolving bar and rooftop bar made a splash on the Buffalo nightclub scene in February of 2017.

The well-known businessman was also known by friends for his passion for flying. Croce's red helicopter was a familiar site along Buffalo's waterfront.

 

Names of men who died in helicopter crash released