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Charleston County Sheriff's Office pilot recovering after helicopter crash near airport halts flights

Charleston County Sheriff's Office chief pilot Lt. Scott Martray suffered non-life-threatening injuries after a helicopter crash Aug. 1, 2023, near Charleston International Airport. He's been with the sheriff's office since 2006.
Charleston County Sheriff's Office
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Charleston County Sheriff's Office chief pilot Lt. Scott Martray suffered non-life-threatening injuries after a helicopter crash Aug. 1, 2023, near Charleston International Airport. He's been with the sheriff's office since 2006.

North Charleston, S.C. - A Charleston County Sheriff’s Office pilot is recovering after his helicopter crashed Tuesday afternoon near Charleston International Airport, halting flights at the state’s busiest airport for nearly two hours.

The Sheriff’s Office says chief pilot Lt. Scott Martray reported a malfunction just before the helicopter went down around 3:30 p.m. in an airfield close to Joint Base Charleston. He was the only one on board.

“We respect and appreciate Scott’s expertise that allowed him to bring the helicopter down while minimizing damage on the ground and injury to himself,” said Charleston County Sheriff Kristin Graziano. “We will continue to support him and his family through his recovery."

Authorities say Martray, who’s been with the department since 2006, was returning from Sumter to the sheriff’s office aviation unit office for routine maintenance on the helicopter.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating. Flights have resumed at Charleston International.

Victoria Hansen is our Lowcountry connection covering the Charleston community, a city she knows well. She grew up in newspaper newsrooms and has worked as a broadcast journalist for more than 20 years. Her first reporting job brought her to Charleston where she covered local and national stories like the Susan Smith murder trial and the arrival of the Citadel’s first female cadet.