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A history of helicopter wrecks in New York City

June 11, 2019

At least 32 people have died in helicopter accidents in New York City since 1977, when an accident on a skyscraper landing pad led the city to start putting restrictions on where choppers could land.

Helicopter flights are getting renewed scrutiny after a fatal crash into a Manhattan tower Monday.

A look at accidents over the years:

2019: A helicopter used for executive travel hits the roof of a Manhattan skyscraper in restricted airspace. The pilot is killed.

2019: A charter helicopter goes into the Hudson River and sinks while being maneuvered at a heliport. The pilot escapes.

2018: Five people drown when a charter helicopter offering “open door” flights crashes in the East River . The pilot survives.

2011: Three people die when a helicopter carrying a family outing plunges into the East River.

2009: A sightseeing helicopter carrying Italian tourists collides with a private plane over the Hudson River, killing nine.

2007: A sightseeing helicopter drops into the Hudson River after experiencing a mechanical problem after lifting off from a West Side heliport. Everyone makes it out safely.

2005: A corporate helicopter carrying MBNA Corp. executives falls into the East river after taking off from the East 34th Street heliport. The pilot is seriously injured but everyone survives.

2005: A sightseeing helicopter goes into the East River while trying to take off from the Wall Street heliport. A British tourist nearly drowns.

2004: A WNBC news helicopter hits a building in Brooklyn and disintegrates while covering a story. All occupants survive.

1997: One person is killed and a second is badly injured when a helicopter owned by the Colgate-Palmolive Company falls into the East River after taking off from the 60th Street heliport.

1990: One person dies after the pilot of an Island Helicopter air taxi misjudges the wind during a takeoff from the East 34th Street heliport and flies into the river.

1988: A passenger drowns when a sightseeing helicopter loses power and makes a forced landing in the East River.

1986: An NBC radio traffic reporter dies when the helicopter she is riding in loses lift, hits a fence and crashes into the Hudson.

1985: A passenger drowns when a sightseeing flight operated by New York Helicopters crashes into the East River after taking off from the East 34th Street heliport.

1983: A seaplane coming in for a landing on the East River collides with a police helicopter over the Brooklyn waterfront, killing four people.

1981: Hijackers seize a sightseeing helicopter and order the pilot to fly to a federal jail in Manhattan in an unsuccessful attempt to free a prisoner waiting on the roof.

1977: A rotor breaks loose from a New York Airways helicopter on a landing pad atop the Pan Am Building and kills five people, including one on the street two blocks away. The helipad closes after the accident.

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