One dead in helicopter crash on NY skyscraper

Nellie Chapman
June 13, 2019

A helicopter crashed into the roof of a Manhattan building Monday afternoon, killing the pilot, in what officials said was an attempt at an emergency landing.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration's airmen records, McCormack was issued his commercial pilot license on September 24, 2004, and received his flight instructor certificate for "Rotorcraft-Helicopter" a year ago on June 28, 2018.

One person has died after a helicopter crash landed and burst into flames atop a high rise in New York City.

Le Bernardin, one of New York City's most celebrated restaurants, is also in the building.

There is no helicopter landing pad on the roof of the AXA Equitable tower at 787 Seventh Avenue where the aircraft crashed.

"I'm having trouble following why he would have gone back up over Midtown Manhattan if his destination was well to the south in New Jersey", the mayor said.

The pilot killed in the incident has been named locally as experienced airman Tim McCormack. "So as soon as you hear an aircraft hit a building, I think my mind goes where every New Yorker's goes".

American Continental Properties, a real estate company founded by Italian-born investor Daniele Bodini, said McCormack had flown for the company for the past five years.

A flight restriction in effect since President Donald Trump took office bans aircraft from flying below 3,000 feet (914 meters) within a 1-mile radius of Trump Tower, which is just a few blocks from the crash site. Cuomo said it shook the building. According to reports, people on the third floor of the building felt the impact, with some saying it felt "like an natural disaster".

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In addition to BNP Paribas, the AXA Equitable Center, built in 1985 houses offices for corporate tenants such as law firms Willkie Farr & Gallagher and Sidley Austin, and investment manager New Mountain Capital. He crashed 11 minutes after, at 1:43 pm.

"I'm aloof because when I came down, I didn't know what became going on", mentioned Electra Steward, whose employer, BNP Paribas is in the constructing.

Annelise Jung, 60, an expo manager on vacation from Switzerland, said the crash conjured up memories of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the United States.

The 51-story building is located in Midtown Manhattan between Times Square and Central Park.

"Chief McCormack was extremely respected by not only the members of the department, but throughout the Dutchess County fire service".

It wasn't immediately known if the helicopter had received permission to fly.

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

ABC television reported that the pilot was a certified instructor with substantial flying experience.

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