Saturday, 22 September, 2018

See Doomed Helicopter Take Flight Moments Before Crashing in NYC River

Emergency vehicles involved in rescue of downed helicopter in the East River Emergency vehicles involved in rescue of downed helicopter in the East River
Herman Weaver | 13 March, 2018, 11:31

At least two people were killed and one was rescued after a helicopter went down Sunday evening in New York's East River, according to Eric Phillips, the NY mayor's spokesman.

The pilot managed to free himself, however all five passengers remained stuck inside the helicopter. "These agencies have asked us to respect the investigative process by referring all press inquiries to them for any further comment".

Moments before the Sunday evening crash, the pilot sent a distress call over his radio, saying the engine had failed, according to the New York Daily News.

@cnn @FoxNews just witnessed a helicopter crash into the East River. hope everyone's ok.

Witnesses to Sunday's crash said the helicopter was flying noisily, then suddenly dropped and quickly submerged.

A search and rescue operation began nearly immediately, with divers working to free the victims submerged in frigid water.

Commercial helicopters typically have the switch in case the engine catches fire, according to Jeremy Conley, a flight instructor at Helicopter Flight Training Inc.in Ronkonkoma, New York.

Mayor's spokesman: At least 2 dead, 1 rescued from crashed helicopter in New York City's East River.

A pilot can free themselves by pulling one lever inside the aircraft, however the passengers all had harnesses that tied them inside with more than a usual seat belt since the group was on a photography mission with the doors removed.

Kaderia Melchon was walking in Carl Schurz Park on the Upper East Side of Manhattan when she said she saw the helicopter descend into the water.

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The NYPD and Fire Department of NY went to East 90 Street, where witnesses saw the chopper plunge into the water.

The helicopter, a Eurocopter AS350, was a private charter commissioned for a photo shoot, said James P. O'Neill, commissioner of the New York City Police Department.

The helicopter was on a private chartered sightseeing photo tour through Liberty Helicopters and was piloted by Richard Vance, 33, of Danbury, Connecticut.

"It took a while for the divers to get these people out", he said. "We will not be determining probable cause or speculate what may have caused this accident".

The helicopter was owned by touring company Liberty Helicopters which describes itself on its website as "the largest and most experienced helicopter sightseeing and charter service in New York City".

A helicopter crash in October 2011 in the East River killed a British woman visiting the city for her 40th birthday. All five passengers died, but Vance survived.

"Someone climbed out of the helicopter and then was on top of the yellow raft".

John J. Magers filmed the crash as it took place and posted the video on Twitter.

In 2009 one of its choppers collided with a small plane, killing nine people.

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