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Police & Fire

Pilot Killed In Helicopter Crash-Landing On Manhattan High-Rise From Hudson Valley, FAA Says

Timothy McCormack Photo Credit: FACEBOOK
A fire was doused, the NYPD said, adding that only the pilot was injured. Photo Credit: COURTESY: Citizen.com

A helicopter pilot who was killed while crashing-landing on the roof of a building Monday afternoon in midtown Manhattan was from Dutchess County, the FAA reported.

Tim McCormack of Clinton Corners was the only victim in the crash. He was reported deceased 45 minutes later. His father and grandfather were Poughkeepsie firefighters.

McCormack -- who received his instructor certificate for “Rotorcraft-Helicopter” last June -- had taken off from 34th Street Helipad just after 1:30 en route to Linden, NJ, the FAA said.

The Agusta A109E crash-landed in the rain and fog about 15 minutes later at 787 7th Avenue, near Times Square.

The building -- known as the Axa Equitable Center -- has tenants that include BNP Paribas, Citibank and the exclusive Le Bernardin restaurant.

A two-alarm fire that broke out in the crash was doused, police said.

Fuel leaked onto a lower roof on the 51st Street side from the chopper, which the FAA said was flying in restricted airspace (There's a two-mile, 3,000-foot flight restriction around Trump Tower, roughly six blocks away).

A comprehensive search turned up no other victims besides McCormack, whose father and grandfather were firefighters in Poughkeepsie.

"The floor literally moved beneath me," said a 10-year BNP Paribas employee from Hillsdale, New Jersey who was on the 9th floor when the chopper crashed.

The next thing she knew, everyone was being told through loudspeakers to evacuate.

Evacuees were stuck on the stairs for more than 20 minutes because the elevators were shut down, the Hillsdale woman said.

Outside, she could see smoke on top of the building.

"It was mayhem. We didn't know what was going on," she said. "You automatically think 9/11."

Employees were told they won't be returning at least until Wednesday.

Meanwhile, 8th Avenue pedestrian and vehicular traffic closures from 42nd Street to 57th Street temporarily remained in place. Sixth Avenue was open.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo initially briefed reporters.

“There was a helicopter that made a forced landing or an emergency landing ... on the roof of the building for one reason or the other,” he said. "People in the building said they felt the building shake. It was a hard landing.”

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