Fog Possibly a Factor in Deadly NYC Helicopter Crash
A helicopter crashed into the top of a 54-story skyscraper in mid-town Manhattan on Monday afternoon in foggy, rainy conditions. The pilot was the only person on board and did not survive.
— FDNY (@FDNY) June 10, 2019
The pilot took off from an East River helipad about 1:30 p.m. He told workers on the pad that he was attempting to take off during what he surmised was a break in the otherwise prohibitive weather. The weather station at Central Park at the time of the incident was reporting moderate to heavy rain with a visibility of 1.25 miles. However, cloud ceilings were very low – visibilities at the level of skyscraper rooftops were only a few hundred feet at most. Minutes after takeoff the pilot radioed in that he may have to turn back. Eyewitnesses describe the helicopter as moving “erratically” over the river and the adjacent city buildings, nosediving at high speeds before coming almost to a dead stop. The pilot reportedly attempted to make an emergency landing on top of the building at 787 7th Avenue but was unsuccessful. That particular building has no helipad on which to land. The wrecked helicopter caught fire and was totally destroyed.
— John Christopher (@DownwithJC) June 10, 2019
Occupants of the building felt a hard thump and were then told to evacuate. No one besides the pilot was injured. Hundreds of firefighters responded to the emergency and quickly doused the flames. Officials say the pilot, a volunteer firefighter in his down time, had just dropped off a company executive on the East River helipad and may have been attempting to return to an airport in New Jersey. Lead photo courtesy Wikipedia contributor Andres Nieto Porras.