Home Fire News UPDATE: Pilot killed in Manhattan helicopter crash identified, was volunteer firefighter

UPDATE: Pilot killed in Manhattan helicopter crash identified, was volunteer firefighter

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Joseph Ostapiuk
Staten Island Advance, N.Y.

The helicopter pilot who crashed into a Midtown Manhattan building Monday afternoon has been identified as Tim McCormack of Dutchess County, New York.

McCormack was a member of the Clinton Volunteer Fire Department since 1994 and served as chief of the department for 10 years, according to a Facebook post made by the department.

“Tim was a dedicated, highly professional and extremely well trained firefighter,” the post said. “Tim’s technical knowledge and ability to command an emergency were exceptional.”

“Chief McCormack was extremely respected by not only the members of the department, but throughout the Dutchess County fire service,” the post continued, adding that McCormack’s “leadership” and “wonderful sense of humor” would be missed by the department’s members.”

According to a report by NJ.com, the Advance’s sister site, Linden Airport Director Paul Dudley identified McCormack.

“He is highly regarded at [Linden Airport],” Dudley told NJ Advance Media. “He has tremendous local knowledge.”

“I believe [the pilot] did his best to get that helicopter on that rooftop to spare the people on the ground,” Dudley said.



An outpouring of condolences and support were present on the Clinton Volunteer Fire Department Facebook page following the announcement.

At a press conference in Midtown Manhattan, NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said preliminary information indicated that the plane took off from the East 34th Street heliport 11 minutes before it struck the building, located at 787 Seventh Ave. near West 51st Street.

O’Neill said the helicopter, which is believed to be privately owned, was likely heading toward its home heliport in Linden, N.J. He added that it does not appear that the pilot was the owner of the helicopter.

Mayor Bill de Blasio praised the work of the first responders who were able to quickly evacuate the building and douse the flames that resulted from the crash.

A full investigation is underway, de Blasio said, and there are currently no known injuries to individuals in the building or on the ground after the crash.

An element of the investigation, de Blasio said, would be focused on why the helicopter was in a restricted airspace, especially during hazardous weather.

The FDNY tweeted photos from the scene following the crash, showing the extent of the damage done unto the building.

The plane has been identified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as an Agusta A109E. The National Transportation Safety Board will be in charge of the investigation following the crash, the FAA said in a statement.

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