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Pilot Killed in Helicopter Crash in Tinicum

A Tinicum man was killed Wednesday morning when a helicopter crashed after takeoff in Upper Bucks County.

One person was killed Wednesday morning when the helicopter he was piloting crashed in Tinicum Township.

Douglas W. Brigham died in the crash, which happened before 7 a.m. Wednesday, authorities said.

Brigham had taken off in the helicopter from the backyard of his home on Everbreeze Drive, according to federal aviation officials.

"We do know that it departed from a residence in the area and struck some trees," said Arlene Salac, spokeswoman for the FAA’s Eastern Region, which includes Pennsylvania.

Though originally reported to have taken off from nearby Van Sant Airport, Salac said Brigham took off from his backyard. The helicopter crashed not far from his neighborhood, in the area of Uhlerstown Hill Road and Everbreeze Drive, west of the Uhlerstown-Frenchtown Bridge.

The aircraft burst into flames upon impact and was mostly destroyed, authorities said. Salac said investigators later were able to determine that the helicopter, a Eurocopter model, was registered in Canada.

The National Transportation Safety Board will take over the investigation in the United States and work with Canadian officials as the investigation progresses, Salac said.

Brigham was a retired Pennsylvania State Police trooper and a great-grandson of President Herbert Hoover.

He also volunteered with his hometown fire company, the Delaware Valley Volunteer Fire Co. based out of Erwinna.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

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