Open-door helicopter flights banned from taking off from New York City after crash

ByEyewitness News via WABC logo
Wednesday, April 18, 2018

UPPER EAST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) -- New York City is officially banning open-door helicopter flights from taking off within the five boroughs in the wake of last month's deadly copter crash.

The Economic Development Corporation plans to announce the new rule Wednesday, although it won't affect the helicopter that crashed into the East River because it took off from New Jersey.

"By calling for today's hearing of the Committee on Economic Development, we were hopeful that immediate positive safety changes would occur for helicopter aviation in the city," said Council Member Paul Vallone, Chair of the NYC Economic Development Committee. "This agreement is very welcomed news and takes a huge step in the right direction."

Five people drowned in March when they were unable to free themselves from their harnesses after the aircraft rolled over into the water. The pilot, who was not wearing a harness, escaped with only minor injuries.

EDC President James Patchett said it was their hope that by officially banning doors-off helicopter flights out of New York City it would increase safety and improve the quality of life for all residents.

The rule is an amendment to the city's agreement with Firstflight Heliports, LLC.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


* More Manhattan news

* Send us a news tip

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts