Helicopter crash on New York skyscraper kills pilot


NEW YORK (AP/WBAY) - Updates on the Manhattan helicopter crash. All times are Eastern:

5 p.m.

Photographs show that the helicopter that crashed into a New York City skyscraper was obliterated on impact (see photos at end of article).

Pictures released by the Fire Department on Monday show piles of burned rubble on the roof of the tower.

Only a few pieces of the wreckage are recognizable as having been parts of an aircraft, including a piece of the tail.

Damage to the building itself appear light.

Federal Aviation Administration records show that the helicopter was an Agusta A109E linked to a real estate company founded by Italian-born investor Daniele Bodini.

The helicopter was flying in rain and heavy clouds when it hit AXA Equitable building in midtown Manhattan.

The pilot was killed. Officials didn't immediately release his name. They said he was not the helicopter's owner.

No other people were aboard.


4:10 p.m.

Authorities say the helicopter that struck a New York City skyscraper took off from a Manhattan helipad and was in the air for about 11 minutes before it crashed.

Police Commissioner James O'Neill said Monday that the privately owned aircraft took off from a pad on the East River.

He says it may have been headed to its home airport in Linden, New Jersey. The helicopter struck the 750-foot-tall AXA Equitable building just before 1:45 p.m.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said it isn't clear why the helicopter went down.

The helicopter was flying in rain and heavy clouds. From the river, it veered into Manhattan airspace that is supposed to be off limits for security reasons.

The pilot was killed. Officials didn't immediately release his name.

O'Neill said the aircraft was used for executive travel.


3:20 p.m.

The helicopter that crashed into a New York City skyscraper was flying in heavy rain in airspace that is supposed to be off-limits.

A flight restriction in effect since President Donald Trump took office bans aircraft from flying below 3,000 feet (914 meters) within a 1-mile radius of Trump Tower, which is just a few blocks from the crash site.

Fire Department officials say the helicopter pilot died when the craft hit the top of the AXA Equitable building at around 2 p.m.

There were no other reports of injuries.

It wasn't clear why the pilot flew into that part of Manhattan, but authorities called it an emergency landing.

Trump said in a tweet that he'd been briefed on the crash. He said first responders on the scene did a "phenomenal job."


The New York City Fire Department says the pilot of a helicopter that crashed on a Manhattan skyscraper rooftop has died.

The Fire Department says the helicopter crash landed on the top of the tower, which isn't far from Rockefeller Center and Times Square.

It does not appear anyone else was on board when the crash occurred at around 2 p.m. Eastern.

It was not immediately known what type of helicopter was involved.

Police and fire officials say the extensive damage to the helicopter has made it difficult to extract the body of the pilot or even identify the helicopter's tail number.

Firefighters' immediate priority was to contain the fuel leaking from the rooftop where the helicopter crashed before it rained onto other parts of the building or the street below.

The skyscraper was being evacuated and its structural integrity was being checked.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters when the aircraft hit it shook the building. He said there are no reports of injuries of people in the tower.

Videos posted by onlookers showed emergency vehicles in the street, but no obvious damage to the skyscraper.

The governor and mayor both emphasized that it appears the pilot was trying to make an emergency landing, based on the information available.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said, "There is no indication at this time that this was an act of terror, and there is no ongoing threat to New York City."

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