Thursday, 22 August, 2019

Pilot Killed In NYC Crash Was Respected Ex-Fire Chief From Area

Pilot in fatal helicopter crash was conducting ‘executive travel Enlarge Image
Patty Aguilar | 13 June, 2019, 00:30

The New York City Fire Department was responding to a helicopter crash landing at about 2:15 p.m. Monday, atop a 50-story office building on 7th Avenue and 51st Street in Manhattan.

According to Mayor Bill de Blasio, there is no helicopter landing pad on the roof of the AXA Equitable tower at 787 Seventh Avenue where the aircraft crashed.

De Blasio said it was "an unusual situation for sure", and the helicopter would have needed special permits from LaGuardia Airport in Queens, New York City.

Hours after the incident, the New York City Fire Department tweeted images of the scene, showing broken and burned helicopter parts scattered atop the building.

"There's something mysterious here", Mayor Bill de Blasio told CNN, saying officials were scrutinizing video of a "very erratic" flight and authorities needed to find out more about the pilot at the time he made a decision to take off.

The New York Fire Department has contained the fire.

"Tim McCormack is a well-respected, highly trained veteran pilot who also had tremendous local knowledge, having flown in this area for many years", Dudley said in a phone interview. "So as soon as you hear an aircraft hit a building, my mind goes where every New Yorker's mind goes".

The crash site is about a half mile from Trump Tower, where U.S. President Donald Trump maintains an apartment, an area that has been under extra-tight flight restrictions since Trump's November 2016 election. "But there's no indication that that is the case", Cuomo said. "Those who had been in the constructing talked about they felt the constructing shake".

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The helicopter crash spread panic and it took over 30 minutes for the people to get from the 29th floor down to the ground floor. "It felt like you were just standing there, and someone takes their hand and just shoves you", he said.

"We do not know the cause of this incident. but again we have no indication that there was any terror nexus here", he said, noting that there appear to be no other injuries.

The Federal Aviation Administration says it will investigate the crash.

Pedro Rodriguez, a pastry line cook at Le Bernardin, a well-known restaurant in the AXA Equitable building, said workers got an announcement telling everyone to exit, and he later heard from people around him that there was a fire on the roof.

McCormack had volunteered with the East Clinton Volunteer Fire Department since 1994 and served as the department chief for 10 years, East Clinton Fire Department Chief Don Estes said reading a statement.

The skyscraper is managed by Los Angeles-based CommonWealth Partners. "Our hearts are with his family and friends", the company said.

Almost five years ago, in October 2014, McCormack was flying a different helicopter over the Hudson River with six tourists on board when a bird struck and broke part of the windshield, according to CNN affiliate WABC.

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