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Helicopter Crashes In New York's East River

Tue Oct 04, 2011 7:47 pm

According to CNN, a helicopter just crashed in New York's East River.

Quote:

A helicopter has crashed in New York's East River, according to a Coast Guard official.

Source: http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2011/10/04...yorks-east-river-coast-guard-says/

This is a developing story and there isn't much else for now. Anyone in the area who knows more?
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B6JFKH81
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RE: Helicopter Crashes In New York's East River

Tue Oct 04, 2011 7:58 pm

"If you do not learn from history, you are doomed to repeat it"
 
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TK787
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RE: Helicopter Crashes In New York's East River

Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:01 pm

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.

[Edited 2011-10-04 13:10:23]
 
canoecarrier
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RE: Helicopter Crashes In New York's East River

Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:02 pm

Radio reporting now 5 on board, 4 rescued.
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HaveBlue
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RE: Helicopter Crashes In New York's East River

Tue Oct 04, 2011 9:31 pm

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.
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ltbewr
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RE: Helicopter Crashes In New York's East River

Tue Oct 04, 2011 9:31 pm

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.

Sounds like a tail rotor failure.

RIP to the pax who died.
 
HaveBlue
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RE: Helicopter Crashes In New York's East River

Tue Oct 04, 2011 9:33 pm

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 5):
Sounds like a tail rotor failure

lol we posted a mere 15 seconds apart, and reached the same conclusion!  
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LGWflyer
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RE: Helicopter Crashes In New York's East River

Tue Oct 04, 2011 9:40 pm

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.   

[Edited 2011-10-04 14:42:36]
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bennett123
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RE: Helicopter Crashes In New York's East River

Tue Oct 04, 2011 9:48 pm

 
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TK787
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RE: Helicopter Crashes In New York's East River

Tue Oct 04, 2011 10:11 pm

Watching the local CBS news, the police now says there were only 4 people on board, 3 were above the water, 1 had to be retrieved by the scuba team.
 
comorin
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RE: Helicopter Crashes In New York's East River

Tue Oct 04, 2011 11:54 pm

Why do tail rotors fail?

Thanks.

RIP
 
B6JFKH81
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RE: Helicopter Crashes In New York's East River

Wed Oct 05, 2011 12:25 am

Quoting comorin (Reply 10):
Why do tail rotors fail?

Not being a helicopter expert or anything, all I can assume is that just like anything else mechanical...things break. Taking a look at a tail rotor, it's quite the interesting mechanism:

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propilotjw
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RE: Helicopter Crashes In New York's East River

Wed Oct 05, 2011 1:02 am

Extremely sad today. I've been watching it live on the news since it first broke. They are saying that the female that died was on a trip for her birthday.

They have the location of the helo identified with bouy's. Not sure when they'll be bringing it out of the water.
 
jetblue777
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RE: Helicopter Crashes In New York's East River

Wed Oct 05, 2011 2:11 am

Quoting propilotjw (Reply 12):
the female that died was on a trip for her birthday.

Yes, the saddest part of it. Unfortunately. My thoughts and prayers for her and her family   

Apparently, the pilot of the helicopter had some rough past (news said that he already made an emergency landing in the past)
It's a cultural thing.
 
wjcandee
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RE: Helicopter Crashes In New York's East River

Wed Oct 05, 2011 4:18 am

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
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RE: Helicopter Crashes In New York's East River

Wed Oct 05, 2011 4:24 am

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.
 
JoeCanuck
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RE: Helicopter Crashes In New York's East River

Wed Oct 05, 2011 6:15 am

Are there any requirements for flotation devices either personal or on the helicopters for trips over the water?
What the...?
 
HaveBlue
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RE: Helicopter Crashes In New York's East River

Wed Oct 05, 2011 7:02 pm

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.
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wjcandee
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RE: Helicopter Crashes In New York's East River

Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:33 pm

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.
 
micstatic
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RE: Helicopter Crashes In New York's East River

Wed Oct 05, 2011 11:15 pm

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 18):
Copter was one day out of heavy maintenance. Interesting facts.

Where can I read this from the source?
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wjcandee
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RE: Helicopter Crashes In New York's East River

Thu Oct 06, 2011 3:56 am

Quoting micstatic (Reply 19):
Quoting wjcandee (Reply 18):
Copter was one day out of heavy maintenance. Interesting facts.

Where can I read this from the source?
http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/p...ght_history_ffuQB7CaD1u79xioY3wxHM
 
B6JFKH81
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RE: Helicopter Crashes In New York's East River

Thu Oct 13, 2011 3:44 pm

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.   

http://www.myfoxny.com/dpp/news/Seco...ger-In-Chopper-Crash-Dies-20111012
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