Names released in Clearwater crash involving helicopter, plane

Clearwater Fire Department emergency personal are seen dousing a plan with fire retardant after the plane crashed into a helicopter at Clearwater Air Park 1000 N Hercules Avenue Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017. According to Clearwater Fire two patients sustained minor injuries. Photo by Clearwater Fire
Clearwater Fire Department emergency personal are seen dousing a plan with fire retardant after the plane crashed into a helicopter at Clearwater Air Park 1000 N Hercules Avenue Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017. According to Clearwater Fire two patients sustained minor injuries. Photo by Clearwater Fire
Published September 25 2017

CLEARWATER — Authorities released more details Monday about the crash involving a helicopter and airplene over the weekend at the Clearwater Air Park.

Just after 5 p.m. Saturday, a helicopter piloted by 32-year-old Joseph Bell was hovering about 20 feet above the runway when a fixed-wing plane tried to land, according to the city of Clearwater. The plane, with Maurycy J. Sokolowski as the pilot, collided with the helicopter. It tumbled about 500 feet and came to a stop upside-down.

Sokolowski, 48, was taken to Bayfront Health St. Petersburg with minor injuries. Bell and his passenger, Ronald Eugene Gonzalez, 58, were not hurt, according to the city.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will respond to investigate.

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