Passengers Killed in NYC Helicopter Crash Were Strapped In

Cheryl Sanders
March 13, 2018

USA investigators probing a deadly helicopter crash in New York City's East River want to speak with the pilot who warned of engine failure before the chartered aircraft crashed into the icy water, killing all five passengers.

NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill said the helicopter, which had been privately chartered for a photo shoot, is owned by touring company Liberty Helicopters.

FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said the rescue was hampered by the fact that the passengers were tightly harnessed. 'So these harnesses had to be cut and removed in order to get these folks off of this helicopter'. Two victims died at the scene.

Vance told investigators a passenger's bag may have accidentally activated the helicopter's emergency fuel shutoff switch, CNN and NY1, a NY cable news channel, reported, citing unnamed law enforcement officials.

Some of the victims were identified on Monday.

"The pilot knew what to do because he wears that harness everyday", said ABC News aviation expert Steve Ganyard.

"Despite his short tenure, hearts are heavy with grief as we not only try to come to grips with his loss departmentally, but to also be there in every way that we can for his family", Dallas Fire Department spokesman Jason Evans said Monday.

Until recently, Cadigan had worked as an intern with the news site Business Insider, which in a statement described him as a "smart, talented, and ambitious young journalist".

Two tourists, a journalist and two New Yorkers died aboard a sightseeing chopper that crashed into the city's East River, authorities confirmed on Monday.

The helicopter went down near Gracie Mansion, the mayoral residence.

"There's no way those people could have gotten out of the helicopter", Adams told the Post. By the time we got out here, we couldn't see it. "It was under water".

A few moments later, witnesses saw the pilot surface with a yellow raft. That person was apparently the pilot. It went down shortly after 7 p.m. near East 86th Street as the pilot declared an emergency.

Coast Guard Station New York launched two 45-foot response boats and one 29-foot response boat to assist.

The pilot freed himself and was rescued by a tugboat.

The New York Police Department now has possession of the helicopter. Crashes are not uncommon.

A number of plane and helicopter crashes over New York City's East River and Hudson River have claimed lives in the past several years. Three other passengers were injured.

Meanwhile in 2007 one of their choppers crashed into the Hudson River. He said he thought something was odd when he saw the helicopter flying low before it crashed into the East River, so he started shooting video.

Other reports by iNewsToday