Newberg helicopter crash victims identified as Iraq war veteran, - KPTV - FOX 12

Newberg helicopter crash victims identified as Iraq war veteran, student pilot

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NEWBERG, OR (KPTV) -

An Iraq war veteran and his student pilot were identified as the two people killed in a helicopter crash in Newberg.

Precision Aviation Training said Anthony Gallerani was instructing Kristian Blackwell on a routine night training flight when the Schweizer S269C helicopter crashed less than a mile east of Chehalem Airpark at 10 p.m. Wednesday.

A National Transportation Safety Board spokesperson said the reason for the loss of control has yet to be determined and investigations like this typically take between six to 10 months.

Precision Aviation Training posted the names of the two people who were killed on Facebook over the weekend.

According to the company, Gallerani was a two-time Iraq war veteran who fell in love with helicopters when he was airlifted to the hospital after suffering injuries in a mortar attack.

Precision Aviation Training described him as humble, upbeat, positive and a favorite instructor among students.

Blackwell was training to become a private pilot.

"The personal attributes of both Tony and Kristian were of those that instructors and students should aspire to - which makes their loss all the more difficult to deal with," according to a company statement.

Precision Aviation Training voluntarily halted its training flights after the crash. However, while the NTSB and Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the crash, a company statement says their flight training program is not a part of the investigation.

"Night flying experience is mandated by the FAA for every level of pilot, and Wednesday's flight was nothing more than routine in this regard," the company reports.

The helicopter was removed from the scene near North Valley Road and Dopp Road in rural Newberg and taken to a salvage facility for further investigation.

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