Corning helicopter crash:

Derrick Ek

Dale Crout, one of the two men killed in Thursday’s, November 22, helicopter crash in Corning, was a 41-year-old married father of three who lived in Watkins Glen.

Crout worked at NYSEG’s Horseheads office, said Corning Fire Chief John Tighe, who released the names of the crash victims Friday, November 23.

Crout was the passenger in the McDonnell Douglas 369D helicopter, and was inspecting power lines for NYSEG when the accident happened shortly after noon Thursday.

The other victim was the pilot, Mackenzie Bleth, 24, of Grand Ronde, Ore. He worked for Haverfield Aviation, a Gettysburg, Pa.-based company which assists utilities in surveying and maintaining power lines.

“We feel really badly for their families,” Tighe said. “Our hearts go out to them, and we give them our condolences.”

Bleth was single and did not have children, Tighe said.

Although he was young, Bleth was an experienced pilot, Tighe added.

Bleth previously worked for Coastal Helicopters in Juneau, Alaska and Hillsboro Aviation in Hillsboro, Ore., and had started working for Haverfield Aviation this year, according to his hometown newspaper, the Yamhill Valley News Register.

Bleth and Crout were flying along power lines that come off the hill at the east end of the city, cross Interstate 86, and run along the Chemung River in downtown Corning. The helicopter then struck a cable atop the power lines near the end of Corning

Boulevard, spun, crashed and exploded when it hit the ground, Tighe said.

The Federal Aviation Administration conducted a preliminary report, as did a safety officer for Haverfield Aviation. The National Transportation Safety Board, which investigates all civilian air crashes, was on its way and will file a more detailed report, Tighe said.