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State police ask for help as NTSB reconstructs helicopter in fatal crash

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ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. -- State police are asking for the public's help as the investigation continues into the fatal helicopter crash outside Charlottesville two weeks ago.

The chopper has been flying over the Charlottesville-area assisting with public safety at the "Unite the Right" rally before it crashed into a wooded area near a home on Old Farm Road just before 5 p.m. on Aug. 12.

The pilot, 48-year-old Lt. H. Jay Cullen, of Midlothian, and 40-year-old Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates, of Quinton, died at the scene.

Lt. H. Jay Cullen of Midlothian, Va., and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates of Quinton, Va.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and state police investigation involves reconstructing the actual helicopter to help NTSB investigators determine exactly what caused the crash.

While state police and the NTSB conducted an extensive crash site area search, investigators are asking residents that may have found something "to not discard any unusual objects or debris - no matter how large or small – found in or around their property."

If you find something you think could help investigators, call #77 on a cell phone or 434-352-7128, so a trooper can pick up the material.

"State police also extends its sincere appreciation to the Old Farm Road neighborhood and the Albemarle County Ivy Fire Rescue Station for their compassion and support of state police in the wake of the fatal crash," officials said in a news release.

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