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Pilot From Area Sole Survivor Of Helicopter Crash That Killed Five

NTSB officials work to recover the helicopter that crashed Sunday near Manhattan.
NTSB officials work to recover the helicopter that crashed Sunday near Manhattan. Photo Credit: NTSB/Twitter

A 33-year-old Fairfield County man was the pilot and sole survivor of a helicopter that crashed in the East River in Manhattan, killing five, according to multiple sources.

Richard Vance of Danbury was the only person to escape the crash around 7 p.m., Sunday, as the Eurocopter AS350, he was piloting went down near 88th Street.

Two were killed at the scene and the others later died at Bellevue Hospital, police officials said. 

Vance told officials the crash was caused by engine failure, said the Daily News.

FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said that the five people were tightly harnessed and had to be cut out.

The helicopter he was piloting is owned by New Jersey-based Liberty Helicopters. It had taken off from the HHI Heliport in Kearny, N.J.,  police officials said.

Vance's Linkedin profile said he has been a pilot with the company since April 2016. Before that, his profile has him working for Northeast Helicopters from July 2012 to March 2016 as an “assistant chief flight instructor.”

Video footage taken from the inside of the helicopter captures the final moments of the victims' lives before the crash.

The National Transportation Safety Board will determine the probable cause of the incident, the FAA said. 

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