Aviation News

December 21, 2012

East River Crash Helicopter Was Overweight: NTSB

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East River Helicopter Crash map. (Map by NYCAviation/Google Maps)

A helicopter that crashed into New York’s East River in October 2011 may have been too heavy to fly, according to a new NTSB report. The crash of the Bell 206B (N63Q) killed three people.

While no probable cause has yet been determined, the NTSB on Wednesday released a factual report filled with details of the accident. One section about the helicopter’s weight and balance indicates that the chopper was somewhere between 11 lbs and 261 lbs over its maximum flyable weight at the time it splashed into the river, just moments after taking off from the East 34th Street Heliport.

Investigators will try to determine whether pilot and owner Paul Dudley either purposely or mistakenly miscalculated the weights of the passengers and fuel or if he didn’t calculate them at all.

NTSB Specialist’s Factual Report

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