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East River Helicopter Crash Kills 5 in New York; Pilot Survives

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Five people were killed after a helicopter crashed into the East River off Manhattan on Sunday night, leaving only the pilot alive, the authorities said. The red helicopter was flying along a popular route for sightseers who want to view the Manhattan skyline. But witnesses said it was flying too fast and descending too quickly. From high-rise apartment buildings and parks along the river, they watched as the helicopter, losing altitude as if it were landing on solid ground, plunged into the… ( עוד...

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Cal Keegan 5
The pilot must be absolutely devastated. The emergency flotation system appears fully inflated before they hit the water.
mary susan watkins -1
cal..of course the pilot is devastated and also probably in a stunned condition..such a tragedy..the flotation devices this helicopter is equipped with did not inflate..the ones you seen in later photos were used to get the chopper out of the water where it had sunk and floated down the river..the videos taken by observers have been shown a multitude of times,and even to a novice,not an faa investigator,the aircraft descended very quickly as if it were landing on a flat surface,and then it tipped over rapidly with rotors spinning...may those passengers rest in peace...
bbabis 5
Just to clear up some misinformation. Those yellow bags are the emergency pop-outs and they were inflated at touchdown. Auto-rotations are very rapid descents as seen by the witnesses that are cushioned at the bottom by using the energy stored in the windmilling rotor. The pilot did a good job and this should have been survivable by all. The reason for the power loss and rollover will need to be determined by the experts. I'm sure not many here have landed a helicopter on the water with pop-outs but I'm pretty sure that keeping the rotor out of the water after touchdown is paramount and at the same time difficult to do.
30west 4
Mary Susan, it was autorotating as evidenced by the coning of the main rotors (vs. a flat rotor disk in normal flight) seen in the video. It requires a fairly rapid decent to keep enough air volume moving through the rotor disk to keep the main rotors turning fast enough to maintain sufficient energy so that the when the pilot initiates the flare there is enough there to slow the rate of decent prior to touchdown.
Where'd you get that info. from? The video shows the floats prior to touchdown...
Highflyer1950 5
Looks like an autorotation to me!
30west 3
and a very good job in the "auto".
glen krc 2
Autorotation in poor light...over water. Very difficult to discern when to pull pitch.
bbabis 3
It looked like a very good auto to the water with the pop-outs deployed. It should have been stable enough for an orderly evac to a raft or boat. Either the forward right side bag had an issue or the Cyclic was laid over to the right while the rotor still had enough inertia to cause the roll over. Once water started in there was no stopping it.
As far as the initial cause, the fuel cut-off on the 350 is in a highly susceptible spot for unintended operation by camera bags, purses, dangling coats, passenger feet & hands, etc... May all R.I.P.
Daniel Baker 2
breezyjr 1
how did the passengers die? Did they all drown?

greg motley 1
Fuel lever most probably the answer
Needs moving if it was
Pilot did his best
These sink fast when we practiced in Jacksonville
Water extremely cold and if not Trained then finding up after Unbuckling is difficult in dark water
Prayers for all
stevencercy 1
Update on the investigation shows that there was no evidence of engine malfunction:

and all passengers drowned:
Elliot Cannon 0
The passengers sat sideways so they could dangle their feet outside and get really good pictures of Manhattan. To allow this to happen, they were secured in place with parachute style harnesses. The problem is, the harnesses were secured with a carabiner and virtually NO quick release incase of a mishap. The passengers were given a knife to cut themselves free during an emergency. A knife to cut yourself free?? Really?
This was a tragedy that resulted from negligence and poor judgement.
Ric Wernicke 0
Rumor is that a passenger tether had wrapped around a fuel valve lever and closed it. Horrible loss of life
vector4traffic 0
Perhaps if the flotation was around the body of the helo they would have had a better balance on the water and stayed upright. Even if water entered the cabin they could still move around and get everybody unbuckled.

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