Helicopter Reportedly Crash Lands on Building in Manhattan

Authorities investigate deadly helicopter crash-landing on New York City skyscraper

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The crash shook the 54-story AXA Equitable building in Manhattan around 1:45 p.m., causing a fire and claiming the life of the helicopter’s pilot, according to authorities.

The pilot was identified as Tim McCormack, of Clinton Corners, New York, NJ.com reported.

Update 2:45 p.m. EDT June 11: Investigators on Tuesday sifted through the scattered, scorched remains of a helicopter after its pilot crash-landed Monday on the top of a Manhattan high-rise.

Authorities said the pilot, who was identified by officials in New Jersey as Tim McCormack, originally left New Jersey with a passenger around 11:30 a.m. He dropped off the passenger in New York City and stayed until around 1:30 p.m. before departing for Linden, New Jersey, NTSB air safety investigator Doug Brazy said Tuesday at a news conference.

It was not immediately clear why the pilot stayed in the city. Brazy said investigators have determined he reviewed weather reports during that time. Authorities believe the rainy  weather Monday might have contributed to the crash.

“That’s something we’re looking into,” Brazy said. “We have much more work to do before this investigation is complete.”

Authorities are also delving into whether McCormack tried to send a radio transmission around the time of the crash and whether his flight path was meant to bring him into Midtown Manhattan.

“As far as we know the pilot was not in communication with (air traffic control), nor was he required to (be),” Brazy said. “He may have ventured into airspace requiring that he contact air traffic control (during the crash).”

Investigations like the one launched Monday typically take between 18 and 24 months, Brazy said.

Authorities continue to investigate.

Update 1:30 p.m. EDT June 11: Officials with the National Transportation Safety Board are holding a news conference scheduled for 1:30 p.m. to provide updates on Monday’s deadly helicopter crash-landing in New York City.

Update 12 p.m. EDT June 11: Officials with the National Transportation Safety Board, the agency heading the investigation into Monday’s crash-landing, are expected to provide an update on the probe at a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

Update 8:50 pm EDT June 10: The pilot, who was the only one killed  in the crash, was identified as Tim McCormack, 58, a former fire chief in upstate New York and a veteran pilot, according to The Associated Press.

The crash occurred 11 minutes after take-off from a heliport along the East River and about a mile away, the AP reported.

McCormack was described as “a highly seasoned” and “well-regarded” pilot by the director of the Linden Municipal Airport, who also speculated that either the weather or a mechanical issue most likely cuased the crash. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters it appears McCormack made a “forced landing” on the roof of AXA Equitable building in Midtown Manhattan, but it’s unknown at this point what caused it.

 

Update 5:13 p.m. EDT June 10: The helicopter crash on a skyscraper in New York Monday brought back memories of 9/11 for city residents. 

"As soon as you hear an aircraft hit a building, I think my mind goes where every New Yorker's mind goes," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said, according to The Associated Press.

 

People inside the building said they felt it tremble and smelled smoke in the stairwells as they were being evacuated.

Investigators are trying to figure out why the pilot decided to take off in such bad weather. It was raining with overcast skies at the time of the crash. They also said he did not file a flight plan with LaGuardia Airport, something that’s required to fly over buildings in the city, especially near Trump Tower.

Firefighters were able to quickly douse the flames from the crash and mitigate the fuel spill.

 

Update 4:05 p.m. EDT June 10: The helicopter that crashed Monday in New York City had taken off from the 34th Street heliport about 15 minutes before the crash, authorities said Monday at a news conference.

Officials have tentatively identified the person killed in the crash as the pilot of the private helicopter, though authorities did not immediately release his or her name. New York police Commissioner James O’Neill said authorities believe the helicopter might have been bound for its home airport in Linden, New Jersey, although authorities were still working Monday to confirm the helicopter’s flight path.

Officials with the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the incident.

Update 3:50 p.m. EDT June 10: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference Monday that the crash-landing in midtown Manhattan did not appear to be related to terrorism.

Authorities are sharing updates on the preliminary investigation after Monday’s crash.

Update 3:15 p.m. EDT June 10: Officials with the Federal Aviation Administration said they believe the pilot was the only person on board an Agusta A109E helicopter when it made a hard landing Monday afternoon on top of a New York City skyscraper.

Fire officials said the pilot, whose name was not immediately released, died in the incident around 1:45 p.m. Monday.

Officials said the National Transportation Safety Board will handle the investigation. It was not immediately clear why the helicopter crash-landed Monday.

 

Update 3:05 p.m. EDT June 10: The helicopter crash-landed on top of the AXA Equitable Center in midtown Manhattan, according to WNYW.

 

The building spans 54 stories of office space, according to WNBC. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters Monday that no one inside the building was injured in Monday’s incident.

Authorities continue to investigate the cause of the crash.

 

Update 2:55 p.m. EDT June 10: President Donald Trump praised first responders Monday after authorities in New York City responded to reports of a helicopter that crash-landed on top of a skyscraper in midtown Manhattan.

Trump said he had been briefed on the incident.

“Phenomenal job by our GREAT First Responders who are currently on the scene,” Trump said. “THANK YOU for all you do 24/7/365! The Trump Administration stands ready should you need anything at all.”

 

Update 2:45 p.m. EDT June 10: Officials with the Federal Aviation Administration said they were gathering information about Monday’s deadly crash.

 

Update 2:40 p.m. EDT June 10: Fire officials confirmed one person, believed to be the pilot of the helicopter, died in the crash, according to The Associated Press.

 

Update 2:25 p.m. EDT June 10: Police said a fire sparked when a helicopter was forced to make a crash-landing Monday on a New York City high-rise has been put out.

 

Fire officials said in an update that a plane crashed on top of a building on 7th Avenue. Officials continue to respond to the incident.

Update 2:20 p.m. EDT June 10: Firefighters said a helicopter crash-landed on a building at 727 7th Ave.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters at the scene that a helicopter was forced to make a crash-landing Monday afternoon.

“We don't know what caused the helicopter to land on top of the building,” he said.

He confirmed at least one person was injured, but he stressed that the investigation was preliminary.

He said the crash-landing sparked a fire, which firefighters were responding to Monday afternoon.

Original report: Authorities in New York City responded Monday afternoon to reports of a helicopter crashing into a building on 7th Avenue, according to fire officials. 

 

Police asked people to avoid the area of 7th Avenue and West 51st Street.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Check back for updates to this developing story.

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