Gyrocopter pilot dies after crash at Beaufort Co. airport

A gyrocopter crash in Beaufort County. (Source: Donald Gruel)
A gyrocopter crash in Beaufort County. (Source: Donald Gruel)
A gyrocopter crash in Beaufort County. (Source: Donald Gruel)
A gyrocopter crash in Beaufort County. (Source: Donald Gruel)

BEAUFORT COUNTY, SC (WTOC) - The pilot involved in a gyrocopter crash at Beaufort County airport Monday morning has died, deputies say.

The Beaufort County Coroner's Office identified the pilot as Ed Dollenmeier, 69, of St. Helena Island. He was the sole occupant of the aircraft.

EMS took Dollenmeier to Beaufort Memorial Hospital where he died a few hours after the crash.

"An Autogyro Calidur aircraft crashed on the north end of Runway 7 at the Beaufort County Airport, Beaufort, today at 9:40 a.m," FAA spokesperson Arlene Salac said.

Beaufort County Sheriff's Capt. Bob Bromage said the pilot was performing "touch and go" exercises, in which the pilot touches the ground and immediately takes off again, when the crash occurred.

A large tow truck was called in to lift the mangled copter from the runway.  The aircraft will be examined by federal investigators who hope to figure out what happened. 

The airport remains closed until it gets clearance from the Federal Aviation Administration to reopen, officials said. Photos show multiple emergency vehicles of the scene of the crash.

The airport itself is located on Lady's Island and the FAA isinvestigating the crash.

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