Two die in chopper crash near Nauru

A fish-spotting helicopter crashed shortly after takeoff from a purse seiner last week near Nauru, killing both the pilot and a passenger on impact, according an official with the fishing boat's agent in Majuro in the Marshall Islands.

Killed in the accident were American pilot Jeffery Lynn, who was 40, and his Chinese passenger Zhang Youhai, who was 41.

Zhang was a crewmember on the fishing vessel, Jih Yu 868, according to an official with Kendall Micronesia Inc., the fishing company's agent in Majuro.

The helicopter was owned by Vertol Systems, U.S based company that supplies helicopters for fishing vessels in the region.

Vertol runs a maintenance operation for its helicopters at Amata Kabua International Airport in Majuro.