Pilot who crashed helicopter in NYC radioed he was lost

NYC Helicopter Pilot May Have Maneuvered ‘To Spare the People on the Ground:’ Fellow Pilot

McCormack was the only person in the helicopter and was the only one killed in the crash.

McCormack was the only fatality reported from the crash on top of the 750-foot AXA Equitable building in Midtown Manhattan. According to his certification, he was only certified to fly according to what is known as visual flight rules, which require generally good weather and clear conditions.

Investigators are reviewing social media footage showing the helicopter believed to be McCormack's Agusta A109E hovering a short distance south of the heliport, then turning and making an erratic flight back north through the rain clouds.

NY police Commissioner James O'Neill said Monday it took off from a nearby heliport 11 minutes before the crash, which was described as a "hard landing".

The National Transportation Safety Board "will be in charge of the investigation and will determine the probable cause of the accident", the FAA tweeted.

McCormack was flying over one of the country's densest urban districts through rain and low clouds despite not being "instrument rated", meaning he was not licensed to use the onboard systems to navigate the craft during limited visibility conditions, according to the FAA.

The passenger told investigators there was nothing out of the ordinary about the 15-minute flight, Brazy said.

"Should the helicopter have been flying?"

The city now allows helicopters to take off and land from three heliports, one each on the East and West sides and in downtown Manhattan.

A typical afternoon inside the offices of a Midtown Manhattan skyscraper suddenly turned to chaos Monday when a helicopter, just 11 minutes into its flight, crash-landed on the roof above.

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The helicopter was flying in a driving downpour with low cloud cover and in tightly controlled airspace.

"I want to just say, thank God for that".

Brazy said McCormack's planned route to Linden wouldn't have required him to contact air traffic control. In the press conference, Brazy said that the helicopter did not have any kind of flight data recorder, but that it's possible that McCormick tried to make radio calls during the flight. "I do not know yet", he said.

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.

"Tim will be exceptionally missed by his department members, not only for his leadership but his wonderful sense of humor", East Clinton Fire Department Chief Don Estes said.

McCormack was "a highly seasoned" and "very well regarded" pilot, Linden airport director Paul Dudley said.

Brazy said a salvage crew expected to start removing the wreckage from the roof by Tuesday evening, possibly by taking pieces down the stairs and elevator.

"The aircraft came down between structural metal supports and mechanical equipment on the roof", the official said.

Police said that a fire on the roof had been extinguished but asked people to avoid the area around the building as emergency responders headed to the scene.

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