Home / US / Pilot killed in New York City helicopter crash was not certified to fly in bad weather, FAA says

Pilot killed in New York City helicopter crash was not certified to fly in bad weather, FAA says



The pilot killed Monday when his helicopter hit the roof of a skyscraper in New York City, was not authorized to fly in limited visibility, according to his pilot certification, and raised questions about why he took off fog and steady rain. [19659002] Tim McCormack, 58, was only certified to fly according to regulations called visual flight rules, which generally require good weather and clear conditions, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

The rules require at least 3 mil visibility and that the aircraft rises by clouds for daytime flights. The visibility at the time of Monday's crash was about 1

mile (2 km) at nearby Central Park, with low clouds covering the sky.

The crash in the tightly controlled airspace in Midtown Manhattan shook at 229 meters. The AXA Equitable building, obliterated the Agusta A109E helicopter, fired fire and forced office workers to flee.

It triggered brief memories of 9/11 and fear of a terrorist attack, but the authorities said there was no indication that the crash was intentional.

The crash, the other in Manhattan in a month, also led to renewed calls to limit helicopter flights across the city.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney, representing the area where McCormack crashed, said it was "past" for the FAA to ban "unnecessary helicopters" from the city's clouds.

Fellow Democrat Rep. Nydia Velazquez said she wants tourist flights to be founded. Last year, five passengers were killed when a sightseeing helicopter entered the East River.

"The risks for New Yorkers are just too high," Maloney said.

At a National Transport Security Board briefing Tuesday, investigator Doug Brazy said McCormack had arrived at a helicopter road on New York's eastern river after a journey with a passenger from nearby Westchester County.

The passenger told investigators that there was nothing common about the 15-minute flight, Brazy said. 19659002] McCormack waited at the helicopter for about two hours and reviewed the weather before he settled on what would be a trip to the helicopter's home airport in Linden, New Jersey, Brazy said.

That trip would have taken the helicopter south, across the city's harbor and past the Statue of Liberty.

Investigators reviewed videos published on social media and showed a helicopter that they believe is the doomed hacker pausing and hovering close to him, then turning and making an irregular flight north through rain and clouds.

The helicopter hit the building about 11 minutes after leaving, in an area where flights would not take place.

A flight restriction in force since President Donald Trump took his office, bans aircraft from flying under 9,000 meters within a mile of the Trump Tower, just a few blocks from the crash site.

Helicopters going in and out of heliport may only fly in the restricted area if they have permission and communicate with the flight control.

Brazy said the pilot never made such a request and did not contact the air traffic control, although investigators attempted to verify reports that McCormack had called someone just before the crash.

It is unclear whether the authorities were aware of the crash that the helicopter had entered a limited airspace.

"These issues are part of our investigation, said Security Board Terry Williams.

Brazy said McCormack's planned route to Linden would not have required him to contact the air traffic control. The helicopter was not equipped with a flight recorder or a cockpit voice recorder. , he said.

Asked if the weather could have played a factor, Brazy said "it's really one of the most interesting problems we have." [19659002] "Had the helicopter been flying? I don't know yet, "he said.

The crashed helicopter was owned by a real estate company and used for" executive travel, "the authorities said. These flights were cut halfway to about 30,000 a year under an agreement between operators and the city, which extends two of Manhattan's three commercial helicopters.

But a new Uber service threatens to measure the sky again. 19659003] Last week, the racehorse said it would start helicopter passengers between Manhattan and Kennedy Airport at $ 200, and the inquiry by Velazquez and City Council President Corey Johnson, a Democrat, asked: "Is that really necessary? Is it safe? "

John Dellaportas, the president of the Stop Chop lawyer group, said that only public security and medical flight should be allowed."

"It's a bit like Groundhog Day that every time there is a fatal crash, politicians say big things and then go everyone back to their business, says Dellaportas, a lawyer.

Sam Goldstein, a spokesman for New York's tourist helicopter industry, said that operators "have already settled in a position where they are safe, predictable, and a good neighbor."

McCormack, a former fire chief of Clinton Corners, had 15 years experience of flying helicopters and single-engine aircraft and certified as flight instructor last year, according to FAA

McCormack was a highly qualified pilot and "very well-managed" pilot, said Linden Airport Director Paul Dudley.

Brazy said a rescue crew is expected to start moving the wreck from the roof Tuesday to a safe place, possibly by taking bits down the stairs and the elevator.

"The location – within the city and on the roof of a building – is probably the biggest challenge in the survey," Brazy said.


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