A tour helicopter crushed into the East River in New York City on Sunday night, as reported by local authorities and news agencies. The Federal Aviation Administration reported that a Eurocopter AS350 helicopter crushed down in the river near Roosevelt Island at 7 p.m.
Here is a YouTube video of the red tour helicopter splashing down in the river and go belly-up as its rotors hack at the water.
Only two Eurocopter AS350’s are registered with the FAA in the area and both of them belong to the New Jersey parent company of tour operator Fly Liberty Charters, FAA records show. Fly Liberty was not available for comment at the moment.
Police reports say that at least two persons were killed and one was rescued from the water. Witnesses said that the pilot climbed out of the sinking helicopter and screamed for help.
‘There was about a minute where we didn’t see anyone come out, then after a minute we saw a man come out holding onto a raft screaming, ‘Help! help! Ah!’ and then inaudible screams… It was horrifying.’ said witness Brianna Jesme according to The New York Post.
Sources say that the pilot had called in a emergency to the La-Guardia Airport air-traffic control tower before crashing into the water.
Witness Mary Lee, age 66, told The New York Post that she saw the helicopter go down from her apartment window and said that she ‘immediately thought someone was in there and not going to live… it’s cold water, it was sinking really fast.’
‘By the time we got out here, we couldn’t see it. It was under water.’ she added.
The Federal Aviation Administration stated that ‘The helicopter reportedly is inverted in the water. Local authorities will confirm the number of people on board, their names and conditions’.
— Jaan Paljasma (@jpaljasma) March 11, 2018
The probable cause of the incident will be determined by The National Transportation Safety Board after the search and rescue operation.