Published: Wed, March 14, 2018
Arts&Culture | By Kristi Paul

Dallas Firefighter, Journalist Among Five Dead in New York Helicopter Crash

Dallas Firefighter, Journalist Among Five Dead in New York Helicopter Crash

A helicopter is hoisted by crane from the East River onto a barge, Monday in NY. In 2013, a helicopter pilot landed safely after the aircraft lost power at about 1,500 feet (457.2 meters) with four tourists on board.

Jennifer Platz, The Associated Press •.

USA investigators probing a deadly helicopter crash in New York City's East River want to speak with the pilot who warned of engine failure before the chartered aircraft crashed into the icy water, killing all five passengers.

Robb says the NTSB would then release a preliminary report, and a probable-cause accident report would follow detailing what happened during the crash.

The pilot may have gotten himself free because he knew what to do in that situation, ABC News reported.

The chopper plunged into the waterway after pilot Richard Vance made a "Mayday" appeal for help, citing engine failure.

The five passengers killed in the crash were identified by a police source as Brian McDaniel, a firefighter from Dallas; Trevor Cadigan, a video journalist originally from Dallas; Carla Vallejos Blanco, a tourist from Argentina and two helicopter employees, Tristan Hill and Daniel Thompson.


McDaniel had been with the Dallas Fire-Rescue Department since May 2016.

"Hearts are heavy with grief as we not only try to come to grips with his loss departmentally; but to also be there in every way that we can for his family", Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans said in a statement.

Mr Cadigan, also 26, had most recently been an intern at Business Insider until a few weeks ago. His father, Jerry, is the station's production manager. The FAA called it a Eurocopter AS350.

The helicopter crashed into the East River near Roosevelt Island, located near the Mayor of New York's official residence. In a recording to LaGuardia Airport, the pilot could be heard shouting, "Mayday, mayday, mayday". The water temperature was juts 39 degrees at the time of the crash. "We had talked about, once he got back from his trip, meeting up for beers and just catching up", said Nevitt.

"It's cold water. It was sinking really fast", Lee said. "It was a great tragedy that we had here".

The National Transport Safety Board was leading the investigation into the crash.

Nigro and NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill spoke to reporters Sunday evening.


Video taken by a bystander showed the red helicopter descending slowly into the water, before listing on to its righthand side.

The helicopter was upside down and submerged when emergency responders reached it, authorities said. But the pilot appeared on the surface, holding onto a flotation device as the tugboat and then police boats approached.

Mary Lee, 66, told the New York Post she witnessed the crash from her apartment window.

The Liberty Helicopters chopper had been chartered for a private photo shoot, authorities said.

The Liberty Helicopters aircraft landed in the water at around 7pm. In August 2009, nine people were killed after a helicopter and a small, private plane crashed into each other over the Hudson River.

A crash in October 2011 in the East River killed a British woman visiting the city for her 40th birthday.

Two of the victims were pronounced dead at the scene, while the other three died later after being transported to nearby hospitals.


Two years earlier, another of its helicopters crashed in the Hudson River, though all of the people aboard survived.

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