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Yorktown Helicopter Crash Cause Still Being Probed

YORKTOWN, N.Y. - It could take as long as a year to determine the cause of a helicopter crash Friday evening in Yorktown, according to Federal Aviation Administration officials.

The chopper went down at about 6:45 p.m., according to FAA officials. The vintage 1955 Sikorsky S-55B helicopter was piloted by Hail Gurland, 59, of Newton, N.J., headed to Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation in Bridgeport, Conn.

Despite what FAA officials called a "hard landing" at 716 Kitchawan Road, Yorktown, neither Gurland nor his passenger, Richard Sherryl, 56, were injured and both refused medical attention. After crash landing in the field behind the private residence, the helicopter flipped onto its side, spilling gas into the field, officials said.

Yorktown police said New York City Department of Environmental Police were notified of the crash because of the gas spill.

Even though some previous published reports sited a faulty gas pump as a possible cause for the chopper's crash, FAA officials said the statement was "preliminary," and the National Transportation Safety Board can take up to a year to make a final determination on the cause of accidents. A preliminary report could be available in about a week on the board's website.

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