Helicopter Crashes Into New York’s East River
The helicopter had just taken off from the East 34th Street Heliport when it failed to gain lift and hit the water, according to witnesses.
Early reports said three people were seen in the water. Emergency personnel were responding.
UPDATE 4:00PM: Five people were on board, of whom four have been rescued and one remains missing. Divers were seen searching the waters near the location of the sunk helicopter.
The helicopter which crashed was a Bell 206 which did not have floats installed.
UPDATE 430PM: Helicopter was registered N63Q, based out of Linden, NJ, owned by Paul Dudley, the Director of Linden Airport. It was a single-engine Bell 206, built in 1976, and formerly operated as a news chopper by KMOV 4 in St. Louis.
Mr. Dudley was piloting at the time of the crash and survived. He remained on the scene while the other passengers were rescued. Dudley was the pilot of a Cessna that made an emergency landing in Brooklyn in 2006. He was also quoted in a 2009 NY Times article about the busy Hudson River corridor.
UPDATE 454PM: The fifth passenger has been recovered from the water DOA, according the FDNY.