Pilot identified in fatal crash-landing on New York skyscraper

New York City officials have identified the pilot killed in a helicopter crash-landing on the roof of a midtown Manhattan building, CNN reports.

Tim McCormack, 58, was flying the helicopter that took off from the East 34th Street Heliport at about 1:32 p.m. on Monday, New York Police Department Commissioner James O’Neill told CNN.

The aircraft crashed on the roof of 787 Seventh Ave. approximately 11 minutes later.

After taking flight, McCormack flew around Battery Park on Manhattan’s southern tip, then up the island’s west side. After that, the helicopter eventually made its way to midtown Manhattan before crashing, CNN reports.

The crash-landing sparked a fire, which the city’s fire department responded to within minutes, New York City Fire Department’s fire operations chief, Thomas Richardson, told media.


Firefighters reached the top of the 54-floor building and extinguished most of the fire within half an hour, CNN reports. The city was experiencing 9 mph winds from the east as well as moderate to heavy rain when the accident took place, causing visibility to decrease to about 1.25 miles, CNN reports.

The National Transportation Safety Board is sending an investigator to look into the crash.

McCormack flew for American Continental Properties — the helicopter’s owner — for the past five years and survived a previous helicopter crash in October 2014, WABC reports.

He was flying a different helicopter over the Hudson River with six tourists when a bird struck it and broke part of its windshield. He had to make an emergency landing, but no one was injured in the incident.

McCormack was previously a volunteer firefighter at the East Clinton Volunteer Fire Department, where he served as chief for 10 years. In a post on the department’s website, he was praised for his “technical knowledge and abilities to command an emergency” being “exceptional.”