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Five Fatally Injured In New York Helicopter Accident

Sightseeing Aircraft Went Down In The East River

An Airbus AS350 helicopter went down in New York's East River Sunday, resulting in the fatal injury of five people on board. A sixth person, the pilot, survived the accident.

Television station WTIC in Connecticut reports that the pilot declared an emergency while on a private photo shoot. The pilot said that the aircraft was experiencing engine problems. It went down in the river and became inverted, leaving the cabin under water. The pilot was reportedly able to extricate himself, but the passengers were "tightly harnessed", according to FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro. "People had to be cut out."

The FAA confirmed the accident on Twitter.

The aircraft is owned by Liberty Helicopter, which on its website says is "“the largest and most experienced helicopter sightseeing and charter service in New York City.” They have been in business for 30 years.

WABC-TV reports that the company's aircraft have been involved in two previous accidents in the past 11 years. In one, nine people were fatally injured when a helicopter and a GA airplane collided over the Hudson river. In that accident, the NTSB determined that the helicopter was above its assigned altitude.

(Image from Video captured and posted by Twitter user @JJMagers)

FMI: Original report

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