TK787 From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 4268 posts, RR: 13 Reply 2, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 9451 times:
It must be by 59th street bridge, I see at least 4 news choppers hovering above. OK, now I realize that it is by the heliport around 34th. It is actually pretty nice fall day here in NYC, light winds, overcast skies. Hope they can get to the 5th person soon.
HaveBlue From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 2081 posts, RR: 1 Reply 4, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 8587 times:
Sadly the 5th person, a female tourist, is dead. (which is mentioned in an already quoted link above).
Apparently the pilot of this Jet Ranger also successfully emergency landed a Cessna 172, engine out, in Calvert Park back in 2006. If the proverbial sh*t hits the fan, I would like this guy to be at the controls!
Speculation on my part of course but by all accounts it sounds to me like he lost tail rotor effectiveness. Time and NTSB will tell.
ltbewr From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 12677 posts, RR: 13 Reply 5, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 8586 times:
Apparently the chopper was taking off from the 34th Street heliport along the East River in Manhattan, NY City. It got about 20-30 feet into the air, then started to spin around, losing control, circling around to just off the heliport platform and into the water. It ended upside down in the water, some of the pax clinging to the landing legs to be rescued. Apparently 1 person has died, 4 others on board survived and have been sent to the hospital. The chopper has sunk. Nearby roads and streets have been shut down, there is a traffic mess. Many police and rescue people have responded. Mayor Bloomberg and other officials will be arriving at the site soon.
LGWflyer From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2011, 2348 posts, RR: 1 Reply 7, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 8504 times:
They are reported to be British tourists. A very terrible thing to happen when you all you want to do is enjoy the city. RIP to the people who lost there lives. Lets hope the other survivors in critical condition survive.
wjcandee From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 4788 posts, RR: 17 Reply 14, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 6312 times:
If it was "swirling around" as one eyewitness described it, it's an antitorque failure, essentially certainly. What actually caused the loss of antitorque -- i.e. what failed (conx to pedals, linkage, clipped a tail rotor blade, threw a tail rotor blade, etc.) is another question. The spinning stops instantly the moment you chop the power, but at the high power setting undoubtedly used to get off the pad, you're going to be 360 degrees around by the time the brain realizes the failure and you react; sometimes, the brain doesn't react even in experienced pilots before the thing tips over and thrashes itself. Sometimes, the brain struggles against the pilot's training because of the context, seeking an alternative to a low altitude autorotation, in this case into the water, and the thing can be really out of control before you flick your wrist and cut it.
For those unfamiliar with this heliport, there are several side-by-side lanes where the helicopters land, nose facing the wall of the heliport, perpendicular to the river. A typical departure is to pick up to a hover, back out of the slot the way you came in and, once over the river, 180-degree pedal turn and accelerate at constant altitude followed by a climb once you have developed forward speed. Of course, YMMV. I have seen it done conservatively and I have seen it done showy (i.e. high-ish hover followed by nose-high, tail deep down backing, fast pedal turn to nose-down-tail-high and dramatic acceleration). The opportunity to clip something certainly exists in that regime...not to say that this was what the guy was doing; you can clip the pier on the pedal turn in a relatively-flat departure as well.
Interestingly, though, if you are going to have a power failure (or intentional power chop) at low forward speed, the Jet Ranger is a good friend. Because of the mass of the rotor system, there is a lot of kinetic energy available for you to "spend" cushioning the landing or maybe even trying to get back to land. (As an illustration, I have seen a very-highly-skilled instructor bring the rotors of a Jet Ranger to operating speed on the pad, cut the engine, pick it up to a low hover, do a 360-degree pedal turn, and put it back down. It's a very nuanced maneuver, but possible, and testament to the design. Try that in a Robinson.)
It will be interesting to see if there is any security or other video of the actual incident, and what the pilot has to say.
propilotjw From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 587 posts, RR: 7 Reply 15, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 6280 times:
The helicopter has been pulled out of the water and was transported to an airfield where it will be looked at by the ntsb.
The pilot has been flying for over 20 years and has thousands of hours. Yes, he did have an emergency landing a few years ago in a single engine airplane but that hardly means that he has a tarnished past. From the eye witness accounts, I agree that it seems as though there was a tail rotor problem here. I look forward to seeing what the ntsb finds in their report, we shall wait and see.
HaveBlue From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 2081 posts, RR: 1 Reply 17, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week ago) and read 3127 times:
Quoting propilotjw (Reply 15): Yes, he did have an emergency landing a few years ago in a single engine airplane but that hardly means that he has a tarnished past.
Actually I think the fact that he successfully put down a Cessna 172 with a malfunctioning engine down in a park in NY without wrecking or injuring himself or others is a testament to how good a pilot he is. That incident wasn't even investigated by the NTSB since it wasn't an 'accident'.
On a more somber note, the girl that died on this helo flight was a close family friend of Paul Dudley, the pilot. The fact that she died on her birthday in his aircraft, despite this probably being beyond his control (tail rotor failure of some kind most likely), this will haunt him for a long time I am sure.
wjcandee From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 4788 posts, RR: 17 Reply 18, posted (2 years 2 months 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 2810 times:
Seems like additional witnesses haven't said it was spinning like a top, so maybe not antitorque failure. Would have been the uniform description. Pilot had 1500 rotorcraft hours and a commercial ticket. Copter was one day out of heavy maintenance. Interesting facts.
B6JFKH81 From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 2807 posts, RR: 7 Reply 21, posted (2 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 2209 times:
Hey folks. I don't mean to "bump a thread up", but there was additional information on the news this morning. A second fatality from injuries suffered in this crash, the partner of the first passenger that died in the crash. Very sad.