LYSS, Switzerland (AP) _ A helicopter crashed into a church today, killing the pilot and setting the building on fire, authorities said.

Kurt Lier, head of the government's aviation accident investigation unit, said there were no passengers on the helicopter.

There was no one in the church, according to Urs Wymann, the church sexton.

Witnesses said the helicopter appeared to be having engine problems. It narrowly missed a convalescent home before crashing into the church in Lyss, about 10 miles northwest of Bern.

The fire was extinguished about an hour after the crash.