Workers, tradespeople, tourists, and residents were alarmed recently by what many took to be explosions in a New York City building. Many recalled the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Instead, however, a privately-owned helicopter had crashed into the roof of the structure located between 51st and 52nd Streets.
Tragically, the experienced helicopter pilot died in the crash and ensuing fire. There appeared to be no passengers on board the aircraft, and there were no other injuries.
At the time, there was a low cloud ceiling. The pilot had been waiting at an East River heliport for the weather to clear when he decided to head back to his New Jersey base. At that point, the helicopter changed direction and veered to crash onto the roof.
The helicopter had been flying in restricted air space due to its proximity to Trump Tower. An FAA spokesperson stated that the pilot did not have the required certificate to allow him to fly when the visibility was less than 3 miles thus requiring him to use instrument guidance. An investigation into the accident is ongoing.
Crash Adds to String of Helicopter Accidents over New York City
With millions of people living and working in NYC every day, the dangers of “unnecessary” or private helicopter flights increases the risks of injuries on the ground.
Helicopter rooftop landings have been banned since a 1977 accident when an aircraft crashed on top of what is now the MetLife Building, killing 5 people who were awaiting transport and one more person on the ground.
The most recent helicopter crash occurred in May when a chopper landed in the Hudson River near a heliport. There were only minor injuries. However, last year 5 people died when their helicopter crashed into the East River while on a sightseeing trip. 3 more people were killed in an East River crash in 2011, and another sightseeing helicopter crashed in 2009 causing the deaths of 9 people when it collided with a small plane.
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed that no helicopter was allowed to fly in the most recent crash area without explicit permission from the La Guardia Airport tower. The Mayor stated that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) would be looking into the advisability of flying helicopters over such densely populated areas.
If you have been injured in a helicopter or airplane crash, or have suffered ancillary injuries such as from falling debris, you may be eligible for compensation if a person or entity is found negligent.
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If you or a family member has been harmed by a defective product, car accident, truck accident, construction accident, slip and fall or any other type of personal injury, please contact StolzenbergCortelli, LLC Attorneys at Law immediately. Please call us for a free consultation at our locations in New York County, Rockland County, and Westchester County. Attorneys Howard Stolzenberg and Terrence James Cortelli, personal injury attorneys in White Plains, Nyack and New York City, will fight to secure justice for you and your family. You can reach us at 800-494-0889 or contact us via the website.