Image: Helicopter wreckage
Ross D. Franklin  /  AP
Police and firefighters stand near the crash site of a Phoenix helicopter, which was covering live a police chase. TV viewers saw video from one of the choppers break up and begin to spin before the station abruptly switched to the studio.
updated 7/29/2007 8:59:09 PM ET 2007-07-30T00:59:09

Visitors to a park where two news helicopters crashed after a midair collision left flowers, cards and candles as tributes to the four victims Sunday, as federal investigators worked to remove the wreckage and analyze it.

A TV station that used one of the helicopters, which were covering a police chase, also aired video tributes to the victims during Sunday morning programming.

“There’s still plenty of grieving, but the good stories are starting to surface,” KTVK co-host Dan Davis said.

Co-host Tess Rafols asked the television audience to understand why the program’s normal lighthearted banter was largely absent. “It’s hard to be that way. We’re not going to be fake,” she said.

Killed on board the KTVK helicopter were pilot Scott Bowerbank and photographer Jim Cox. On board the aircraft used by KNXV were reporter-pilot Craig Smith and photographer Rick Krolak. No one on the ground was injured.

Wreckage to examined off-site
The wreckage will be laid out at another location in the Phoenix area for detailed examination, National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Terry Williams said.

Witnesses have told investigators that neither helicopter appeared to be in distress before the collision Friday afternoon and that no smoke or debris flew off the helicopters before impact.

The NTSB plans to announce preliminary information at the end of the week. Investigators plan to issue a full report within nine months.

Christopher J. Jones, 23, has been accused of leading police on the chase and has been jailed in lieu of $1 million bond. He has been booked into jail on counts of assault, theft and resisting arrest. He might also be charged in connection with the helicopter deaths, police have said.

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Video: Deadly crash


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