A helicopter crash landed on the roof of a 54-story building in Midtown Manhattan in the middle of a rainy Monday afternoon, starting a fire and killing the pilot, NBC News reported.
By Henrietta Fishman
The helicopter hard landed. on the roof of 787 Seventh Avenue.
A senior official told NBC NY 4 that the pilot, was identified as Tim McCormack and he had just dropped off a passenger at the East 34th Street heliport, and may have been making his way back to the chopper’s base in Linden, New Jersey, when the crash occurred.
The victim’s body remained inside the mangled wreckage of the chopper, which burst into flames but was quickly extinguished by firefighters, FDNY sources said
The incident happened around 2pm according to local media. Roads in the area were said to be closed with crews in the area as a precautionary measure. Hundreds of first responders were at the scene within seconds to keep the city safe and help with the evacuation of the 7th Ave building and several others.
The 54-floor skyscraper, known as the AXA Equitable Center, is home to Le Bernardin, the acclaimed French seafood restaurant.
Zach Escalante, a computer programmer who works on the third floor told the NY Post “We felt the building move, It felt like something hit or impacted the building,” he said.
Governor Cuomo was on the scene very quickly and said at a briefing “”the helicopter was making a forced landing or emergency landing… and landed on the roof.” He added that there was no indication of terrorism.
The mayor arrived over two hours later as he was busy campaigning for president. Local talk radio show commentators on WNYM 970 AM pointed out that it is not responsible for a mayor of most powerful city in the country to be out and about campaigning for president, when major incidents occur like this one in NYC.
The chopper is an Agusta 109E that was not being handled by air traffic controllers, Zero Hedge reported. The Agusta 109E is a two-engine model that can carry two crew members and as many as seven passengers, according to the online GlobalAir aviation marketplace.
This is not the first time in recent memory a lightweight aircraft crashed in NYC. The most recent significant crash occurred on October 11, 2006, when a Cirrus SR20 general aviation, fixed-wing, single-engine light aircraft crashed into the Belaire Apartment. Both people aboard the aircraft were killed in the accident, New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle and his flight instructor.
“This could have a tremendous impact as we head into the season where helicopter rides are popular from the City to the Hamptons, and could have a chilling effect”, Jewish Voice Publisher David Ben Hooren pointed out.