December 19, 2018

Five die in NY helicopter crash

13 March 2018, 09:42 | Devin Moran

Investigations are continuing into the accident

Investigations are continuing into the accident

A federal official said the aircraft appeared to be a sight-seeing helicopter.

The company has "a fleet of 10 state-of-the-art Airbus helicopters (formerly American Eurcopter)", according to the website. Initial reports based on an interview with the pilot suggested a passenger's personal bag may have hit the emergency fuel shutoff button accidentally before the crash, though investigators had not yet officially announced a cause. The pilot of the helicopter was able to free himself and was the only survivor.

The five passengers killed in the crash were identified by a police source as Brian McDaniel, a firefighter from Dallas; Trevor Cadigan, a video journalist originally from Dallas; Carla Vallejos Blanco, a tourist from Argentina and two helicopter employees, Tristan Hill and Daniel Thompson.

He worked at Fire Station 36 near Pinkston High School in West Dallas for nearly two years and was in NY on vacation.

"Despite his short tenure, hearts are heavy with grief", the department said in a statement.

McDaniel was visiting Cadigan, who had recently finished an internship at the Business Insider news site.

Also killed in the crash was Cadigan, a former WFAA intern and the son of longtime WFAA Production Manager Jerry Cadigan.

Another Eurocopter AS350 - owned by Nevada-based Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters - crashed on an air tour out of Las Vegas, in the Grand Wash Cliffs area, near Meadview, on August 10, 2001.

Shortly after 2 a.m., Howard received a call back from the NYPD.

He reported "an engine failure over the East River" and referenced a hotel, while the person at the other end of the transmission had trouble making out what the pilot was saying.

Officials including New York City Police Commissioner James O´Neill deliver an update on the situation
Officials including New York City Police Commissioner James O´Neill deliver an update on the situation

Emergency responders dived into the water to rescue the passengers, who were tightly harnessed in and had to be cut out, Daniel Nigro, commissioner of the New York Fire Department, said at a news conference. They worked very quickly as fast as they could.

"It's a great tragedy that we had occur here on an otherwise quiet Sunday evening", Nigro added.

The National Transportation Safety Board was conducting an investigation into the cause of the crash. "Divers are still in the water".

A helicopter went down in the East River Sunday night, fire officials said.

The harnesses, which are different than traditional aircraft seat belts, are created to allow people to safely photograph from a helicopter with the doors open.

NY officials said the charter helicopter was hired for a photo shoot.

The passengers had chartered the helicopter from Liberty Helicopters for a private photo shoot.

The skies over NY constantly buzz with helicopters carrying tourists, businesspeople, traffic reporters, medical teams and others.

Liberty Helicopters is one of the biggest sightseeing operators in New York City. Two were declared dead at the scene, and three died in local hospitals.

The US Coast Guard said six people were onboard the helicopter after sending three rescue boats to the scene to help authorities with the search.

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