Sunday, 09 December, 2018

Investigators probe whether 'luggage' caused deadly NY helicopter crash

Dallas Firefighter, Journalist Among Five Dead in New York Helicopter Crash Argentine among 5 killed in NYC helicopter crash
| 14 March, 2018, 00:49

They were identified by police as Brian McDaniel, a firefighter from Dallas; Trevor Cadigan, a video journalist originally from Dallas; Carla Vallejos Blanco, a tourist from Argentina and two high school friends who had moved to the city for work, Tristan Hill and Daniel Thompson.

A floating crane slowly raised the submerged helicopter to the surface Monday and towed it off to be examined, as Democratic U.S. Sen.

The pilot of the helicopter, who managed to escape, was the only survivor.

Passengers aboard the ill-fated tourist helicopter that crashed in New York City's East River Sunday may have drowned because they couldn't unfasten their safety harnesses. Two were pronounced dead at the scene, while three were removed in critical condition and later died in a hospital.

The victims were on board a Liberty Helicopters aircraft that had been chartered for a private photo shoot, authorities said. The five passengers, who were strapped in, were trapped inside.

He continued, "The pilot freed himself".

The victims were all between 26 years old and 34 years old, the New York City Police Department said.

Nigro and Police Commissioner James O'Neill said the rescue operation Sunday took place in a 4 miles per hour current in water about 50 feet (15 meters) deep, under challenging conditions.

The cause of the crash has not been officially determined.


The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash, and an NTSB team arrived at the scene Monday morning.

A video posted online appeared to show the red helicopter descending into the water, its spinning blades chopping the river as it tipped over.

A bystander's video showed the helicopter land hard and then capsize in water about 15 metres deep.

"It was sinking really fast", witness Mary Lee, 66, told the New York Post.

"It's a great tragedy that we had occur here on an otherwise quiet Sunday evening", Nigro said. "We will be looking at other sister helicopters, we'll be looking at this helicopter to see whether the harnesses were functioning and whether the passengers were using them".

The weather was calm at the time of the crash, with clear skies and winds at 16 to 19 km per hour, and a visibility of 16 km. The water temperature was juts 39 degrees at the time of the crash.

The city Medical Examiner ruled Tuesday the five people who died when a tour helicopter crashed in the East River all drowned. It is owned by Liberty Helicopters, a New Jersey-based company that claims to be the "largest and most experienced helicopter sightseeing and charter service in the Northeast", according to its website. According to CBS, his LinkedIn profile says he has worked for Liberty Helicopters for nearly two years and has prior experience flying choppers with another company in CT. "We have been in business and flying safely for over 30 years", it says.

A crew retrieves the wreckage of a charter helicopter that crashed into the East River in New York, March 12, 2018. Crashes are not uncommon. By then, the pilot had lost all power to the aircraft and chose to crash land the chopper into the river.

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