The two passengers aboard a helicopter that crashed into the Chesapeake Bay Saturday have been found dead, officials from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources said.
Department of Natural Resources Police identified the two passengers as Charles Knight, 38, of Mt. Airy, Maryland, and Matt Clark, 36, of Pasadena, Maryland. Knight was the pilot, police said.
The U.S. Coast Guard said the crash was reported about 12:10 p.m. a mile south of Kent Island in the bay. The two men were aboard the two-seat light helicopter, which officials said left from Tipton Airport outside of Fort Meade, Maryland.
The wreckage of the helicopter was found at about 6 p.m. in about 55 feet of water, a DNR spokesperson said
Monumental Helicopters, which operates helicopter tours out of Tipton Airport, confirmed to News4 that they own the helicopter involved in the crash and had rented the chopper to a private pilot Saturday morning
"We are fully cooperating with Maryland Natural Resource Police and Federal authorities. Until search and rescue efforts are complete, we do not have any comment," Monumental Helicopters told News4.
A DNR spokesperson also told News4 that they believed the majority of the helicopter's fuselage was intact underwater. Search teams were using sonar to pinpoint the exact location of the fuselage, but the bay is 55 feet deep in the general area.
Officials had suspended a search for the two men late Saturday night.
The Federal Aviation Administration said the Guinbal Cabri G2GL helicopter crashed about five miles south of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, and that it will investigate the cause of the crash along with the National Transportation Safety Board.
The Anne Arundel Fire Department said it assisted Queen Anne County authorities with several boats and a dive team.
The circumstances surrounding the crash were unclear.
Maryland Department of Natural Resources Capt. Brian Albert said that weather conditions were most likely not a factor, with overcast skies and a light breeze.
Albert also confirmed that a witness called the crash in.
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