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The helicopter lifted off in rain and fog and raced down the East River. But inside minutes, the pilot was hoping to return to the heliport he had just still left.
The pilot, an experienced flier named Timothy McCormack, explained to the heliport he could not discover his way.
“McCormack then stated that he did not know the place he was,” a legislation enforcement official explained on Tuesday.
That was Mr. McCormack’s very last communication before he crashed and died on the roof of a 51-story office environment tower in the middle of Manhattan on Monday afternoon, the formal stated.
Now investigators will consider to figure out why Mr. McCormack went astray in the 11 minutes after he took off, bound for an airport in New Jersey.
A staff of investigators from the Countrywide Transportation Safety Board arrived on Monday evening to get started piecing collectively the scary sequence that for brief times experienced New Yorkers fearing another terrorist assault on their metropolis. Law enforcement officials reported they quickly dominated out that possibility.
The investigators might not have a lot to do the job with. The helicopter, a twin motor Agusta A109E, slammed so really hard into the roof of the setting up, at 787 Seventh Avenue, that the aircraft was just about absolutely wrecked.
Folks who realized Mr. McCormack said he was intimately acquainted with the skies in excess of New York and had flown close to the town for several years, mainly without the need of incident.
Numerous years ago, he had calmly landed a helicopter complete of passengers soon after a fowl crashed into the windshield, a former employer recalled.
Just two hrs just before the crash, Mr. McCormack had dropped off a typical passenger, Daniele Bodini, at the town-owned heliport at the east finish of 34th Road along the East River, the law-enforcement official claimed.
A employee there claimed Mr. McCormack experienced waited out the lousy weather for two hrs just before he decided to head to the airport in Linden, N.J., wherever he commonly parked the helicopter.
Mr. Bodini, the founder and chairman emeritus of American Continental Homes, a real estate business, applied the helicopter to commute to the town from a residence in upstate New York’s Hudson Valley. Mr. McCormack, who also lived upstate, had flown for Mr. Bodini’s enterprise for 5 several years, a business spokesman stated.
Looking at a crack in the weather conditions, Mr. McCormack lifted off at one:32 p.m., the legislation enforcement official explained. Five minutes later, he was on the radio, declaring he was turning about and asking for a landing spot, the formal reported.
His helicopter was noticed swooping up and down in an erratic fashion above the river. Rather of landing at the heliport, he headed inland around Midtown into some of the most tightly controlled airspace in the state.
At 1:43 p.m., a caller who works in an business of the Lender of Tokyo made the initial 911 contact about the crash, the legislation enforcement official reported.
The caller claimed that an plane experienced crashed on top rated of a developing between 51st and 52nd Streets. Firefighters raced to the rooftop and extinguished the fire induced by the crash.
No person, other than Mr. McCormack, was wounded in the crash.
Go through additional about the fatal helicopter crash
Patrick McGeehan writes about transportation and infrastructure for the Metro area. He has been a reporter for the Moments due to the fact 1999 and has lined Wall Avenue, government pay, transportation, the New York City economic climate and New Jersey. @NYTpatrick