MEDFORD — One half of the country music duo Montgomery Gentry died Friday afternoon in a helicopter crash in South Jersey.

Troy Gentry, 50, was confirmed dead by the band on Twitter shortly after news of the concert's cancellation was released by the venue. He was pronounced dead at Virtua Marlton.

Medford Police Chief Richard Meder identified the pilot as James Evan Robinson, 30, of Georgia.

The FAA said the chopper crashed around 1:30 p.m. Both the NTSB and FAA will investigate and determine a cause.

The airport got a distress call from the helicopter about 12:30 p.m. The chopper crashed just before the runway, a spokesman for the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office said. Meder said the helicopter had taken off and landed at Flying W.

Meder said at a press conference that the helicopter crashed in a remote area that was difficult to reach. He said the chopper suffered significant damage but did not catch fire.

Video of the scene from CBS Philly shows a red tarp covering wreckage in a wooded area at the end of a runway.

The band was to perform Friday night at Flying W Airport & Resort in Medford.

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Joe Kelly, morning show host and brand manager at Townsquare Media's Cat Country 107.3, said they were expecting a big turnout at the concert.

"It’s a big blow to country music. Troy Gentry and his partner Montgomery Gentry have been around for almost 20 years. They’ve had a of hits in the last 10 to 15 years. They’re surely going to be missed. It’s very sad.”

Kelly said Troy was a "very nice guy. Friendly and outgoing.”

Gentry was born in Lexington, Kentucky, in 1967. The band scored five No. 1 hits, including "Hell Yeah," and was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 2009.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at

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