Investigators are working to determine what caused a helicopter to crash into the roof of a midtown Manhattan skyscraper, killing the pilot.
Tim McCormack was killed when his helicopter crashed into a 54-story building at 787 Seventh Street around 2pm.
U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, who represents the area where McCormack crashed, said it's "past time" for the FAA to ban "unnecessary helicopters" from the city's skies.
According to the ECVFD, McCormack served as chief of the fire department for 10 years. Tim's technical knowledge and ability to command an emergency were exceptional.
The crashed helicopter was owned through a real estate firm and used for "executive travel", authorities said.
The helicopter went down about 11 minutes after taking off from a heliport along the East River, a little more than a mile (1.6 kilometers) away.
The director at Linden Municipal Airport, Paul Dudley, described McCormack as "a highly seasoned" and "very well regarded" pilot who was a regular at the airfield. No one else was injured in the crash, which officials said appeared to be an accident - not an act of terrorism.More news: Uber Air's $100 'flying taxi' rides between Melbourne CBD and airport
"He may have intentionally gone for that roof to spare the people on the street", Dudley said.
He said there was no panic, but going down the stairs "was scary because everybody from all the floors" was descending "all at the same time" - a process that took half an hour.
The crash happened shortly before 2 p.m. Monday, when clouds obscured the roof of the building.
Rescue vehicles swarmed to the scene.
The crash shook the 750-foot (229-meter) AXA Equitable building, sparked a fire and forced office workers to flee.
Videos posted by onlookers showed emergency vehicles in the street, but no obvious damage to the skyscraper.
The city fire department urged people to avoid the area. And I remember that morning all too well. "So as soon as you hear an aircraft hit a building, I think my mind goes to where every New Yorker's mind goes".More news: Mexican Ambassador says U.S. and Mexico will 'work together'
The next thing she knew, everyone was being told through loudspeakers to evacuate. He saw a sheet of flame and smoke when he looked out the window.
Trump tweeted from Washington that he had been briefed on the crash. "But there's no indication that that is the case", Cuomo said.
In New York City, helicopters giving tourists a whirlybird's eye view of landmarks account for the majority of take offs.
That trip would have taken the helicopter south, over the city's harbor and past the Statue of Liberty. All of the facilities border rivers.
"We have much more work to do before this investigation is complete", he said, adding that a preliminary report would be released in about two weeks.
Sam Goldstein, a spokesman for New York's tourist helicopter industry, said operators "have already regulated themselves into a position where they're safe, predictable and a good neighbor". The pilot escaped mostly unscathed. "There may be casualties involved with people who were in the helicopter". "There is no danger of any kind to New Yorkers at this point".More news: David Ortiz back in Boston after shooting in Dominican bar