Pilot in NY chopper crash not certified for bad weather: FAA

New York City Fire Department firefighters work on the roof of 787 Seventh Avenue at 51st Street after a helicopter crashed there

The person wasn't authorized to discuss the radio calls publicly because of the ongoing federal safety investigation and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The pilot, identified as Tim McCormack, died in the crash, law enforcement officials said.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said in a statement that controllers "did not handle" the flight, but it remained unclear whether there was any communication at all between the helicopter and air traffic authorities.

Those rules require at least 4.8 kilometers (3 miles) of visibility and that the sky is clear of clouds for daytime flights.

It was midday when pilot Timothy McCormack was flying solo through half-mile visibility in poor weather conditions, an eyewitness taking note of the chopper's erratic maneuvering.

It briefly triggered memories of 9/11 and fears of a terrorist attack, but authorities said there is no indication the crash was deliberate.

Officials stand on 787 7th Ave a day after a helicopter crashed into the building in New York City, New York, U.S., June 11, 2019.

Almost five years ago, in October 2014, McCormack was flying a different helicopter over the Hudson River with six tourists on board when a bird struck and broke part of the windshield, according to CNN affiliate WABC. Last year, five passengers were killed when a sightseeing helicopter plunged into the East River. "There were just too many people, it was too crowded, and everybody was trying to get off on all the floors at the same time", Nathan Sutton said, standing outside of 787 Seventh Avenue.

Tim McCormack, a longtime volunteer firefighter and former fire chief in Dutchess County, was the only victim of the crash on Monday, June 10 after he took off from the 34th Street heliport and crash-landed on top of a 750-foot building in the rain and fog.

The passenger told investigators that there was "nothing out of the ordinary" about the 15-minute flight.

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The city now allows helicopters to take off and land from three heliports, one each on the East and West sides and in downtown Manhattan.

The helicopter hit the Manhattan tower about 11 minutes after taking off, in an area where flights aren't supposed to take place.

McCormack had left the 34th Street helipad at approximately 1:30 p.m., and was reportedly heading to Linden, New Jersey.

The helicopter was flying in a driving downpour with low cloud cover and in tightly controlled airspace.

Brazy said the pilot never made such a request and didn't contact air traffic control. He said the report would not include the cause of the crash.

Brazy said McCormack's planned route to Linden wouldn't have required him to contact air traffic control.

Brazy said the helicopter was not equipped with a flight data recorder or a cockpit voice recorder.

"Why should some tour guide be able to endanger the lives of people by flying over probably one of the most densely populated areas in the world?" she asked.

A dramatic video circulating on social media shows a helicopter flying erratically over the East River.

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