Welcome, Guest! - or
Easy to remember!  »  VinNews.com

New York - Victim In Helicopter Crash Posted Video During Takeoff; Pilot Cites Passenger Bag As Cause

Published on: March 12, 2018 12:50 PM
By: Reuters
Change text size Text Size  
Trevor Cadigan, 26, posted a story to Instagram of take-off before the doomed helicopter crashed in the East RiverTrevor Cadigan, 26, posted a story to Instagram of take-off before the doomed helicopter crashed in the East River

New York - A firefighter and a videographer from Texas and an Argentinian tourist were among the five passengers killed when a sightseeing helicopter crashed into the frigid waters of New York City’s East River, police and media said on Monday, with only the pilot surviving.

Moments before the Sunday evening crash, the pilot sent a Mayday call over his radio, saying the engine had failed.

The red helicopter hit the water and turned upside down at about 7 p.m. EDT (2300 GMT) near the northern end of Roosevelt Island, east of Manhattan.

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board inspected the wreckage on Monday morning as they investigated the crash.

Among the dead were Brian McDaniel and Trevor Cadigan, both of Dallas, Texas. An Argentinian visitor, Carla Vallejos Blanco, was also killed, according to the New York Police Department. Authorities declined to release the names of the other two victims until their families are notified.

Advertisement:

Cadigan shared a video on his Instagram social media account of what appeared to be himself and others smiling and laughing as they took off in the helicopter on Sunday evening.

McDaniel was a firefighter and Cadigan a video journalist, the New York Daily News reported, citing unnamed police officials. The other two passengers who died were employees of the helicopter company, the paper said.

At least two of the passengers were dead when rescue divers got the scene, police and fire department officials said. The other three, who had to be cut from the helicopter’s safety harnesses, were declared dead at the hospital.

The pilot managed to free himself from the wreckage and was later discharged from a hospital. The New York Police Department identified him as Richard Vance, 33.

Vance told investigators a passenger’s bag may have accidentally activated the helicopter’s emergency fuel shutoff switch, CNN and NY1, a New York cable news channel, reported, citing unnamed law enforcement officials. A police spokesman declined to confirm the reports.

NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) investigators arrive at the scene of the wreckage of a chartered Liberty Helicopters helicopter that crashed into the East River and submerged under yellow flotation devices, in New York, U.S., March 12, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon StapletonNTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) investigators arrive at the scene of the wreckage of a chartered Liberty Helicopters helicopter that crashed into the East River and submerged under yellow flotation devices, in New York, U.S., March 12, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Commercial helicopters typically have the switch in case the engine catches fire, according to Jeremy Conley, a pilot and flight instructor at Helicopter Flight Training Inc in Ronkonkoma, New York.

Video of Sunday’s crash appeared to show the helicopter “in an autorotative descent,” with its rotors spinning solely on momentum instead of engine power as it crashed, Conley said.

The helicopter was chartered from Liberty Helicopters, police said. The New Jersey-based company said on its website it has the largest fleet in the Northeast and had an “unparalleled” safety record.

The company said in a statement it was “focused on supporting the families affected by this tragic accident” adding that it was cooperating with investigators.

Liberty Helicopters has been involved in at least two other crashes, according to news accounts, including a mid-air collision with a small plane in August 2009 over the Hudson River that killed nine people. In July 2007 one of its helicopters went down in the Hudson with a pilot and seven passengers aboard, all of whom were rescued.

NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) investigators arrive at the scene of the wreckage of a chartered Liberty Helicopters helicopter that crashed into the East River as it sits submerged under yellow flotation devices in New York, U.S., March 12, 2018NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) investigators arrive at the scene of the wreckage of a chartered Liberty Helicopters helicopter that crashed into the East River as it sits submerged under yellow flotation devices in New York, U.S., March 12, 2018


More of today's headlines

Calexico, CA - The daily commute from Mexico to California farms is the same as it was before Donald Trump became president. Hundreds of Mexicans cross the border and... Jerusalem - Hundreds of Ethiopian immigrants are protesting outside Israel's parliament, demanding the government fulfill a pledge to bring some 8,000 of their...

 

Total1

Read Comments (1)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Mar 12, 2018 at 04:07 PM Moish Says:

It's a shame 5 people died. From the video and slow speed in which it descended one would think they would have a good chance of surviving. Seems that the safety harnesses were actually what caused their death since it was immediately submerged and they were unable to disengage the harness, likely because it's not a straightforward process.

2

Sign-in to post a comment

Click here to sign-in.

Scroll Up
Advertisements:
Sell your scrap gold and broken jewelry and earn hard cash sell gold today!