New York: Helicopter crash-lands on roof of Manhattan building, pilot killed: New York City officials said a helicopter crash-landed on the roof of a midtown Manhattan building Monday, sparking a fire and killing the pilot. For hours on Monday, fog surrounded the skyscrapers in Midtown Manhattan, hiding the upper floors behind a gauzy, grayish curtain.
Only a pilot was aboard the doomed aircraft. He was killed, and investigators were trying to determine if he had been trying to make an emergency landing.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said there was no indication that the crash was an act of terror, and he said there were no injuries to anyone in the building or on the ground.
“I want to just say, thank God for that. This could have been a much worse incident,” he said.
According to police sources, the pilot involved in the helicopter crash on the roof a high-rise building in midtown Manhattan has been identified as Tim McCormack and his family have been informed. Authorities also ruled out a connection of a terror angle with the crash.
The helicopter took off from the 34th Street heliport at about 1:32 p.m., NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said, and it crashed on the roof of 787 Seventh Ave. about 11 minutes later.
FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said, a fire broke out when the helicopter crashed, and the FDNY reached the roof and put out the fire quickly.
At the time of the incident, moderate to heavy rain was falling in the city and visibility at Central Park was down to 1.25 miles. Winds were from the east at 9 mph.
Another law enforcement source told, based on interviews the NYPD conducted at the 34th Street heliport on Manhattan’s east side, the pilot was waiting out the weather but for some reason decided it was okay to go.
The pilot then flew around Battery Park on the southern tip of Manhattan, up to the west side of the island and then, somewhere around the streets in the 40s, started to veer toward midtown Manhattan before ultimately crash landing, the law enforcement source said.
It is unclear whether McCormack made an emergency call from the Agusta A109E helicopter before the crash.
NYPD Commissioner O’Neill said, “That’s part of the investigation, to see if there was any contact made with air traffic control.”
De Blasio said, “The helicopter is pretty obliterated at this point. It was obviously a very hard hit, there was a fire on top of that. There’s not much left of that helicopter. But look, we don’t know what happened and why it happened, this is very unusual.”
The National Transportation Safety Board said it is sending an aviation safety investigator to investigate the crash.
New York Governor Anthony Cuomo said the incident brought back memories of September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks for New Yorkers.
President Donald Trump tweeted he was aware of the situation, saying, “I have been briefed on the helicopter crash in New York City. Phenomenal job by our GREAT First Responders who are currently on the scene. THANK YOU for all you do 24/7/365! The Trump Administration stands ready should you need anything at all.”