The chopper pilot from the Hudson Valley who was killed in a helicopter crash while attempting to land on a Manhattan skyscraper was not licensed to be flying in the bad weather conditions, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
Tim McCormack, a longtime volunteer firefighter and former fire chief in Dutchess County, was the only victim of the crash on Monday, June 10 after he took off from the 34th Street heliport and crash-landed on top of a 750-foot building in the rain and fog.
Though he was an experienced pilot, the FAA said on Tuesday, June 11 that McCormack, 58, was “not instrument rated” to be piloting the helicopter in dense fog and heavy rains that hit the area on the day of the crash.
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"Should the helicopter have been flying, I don't know yet," NTSB Air Safety Investigator Doug Brazy said at a press conference. Al Yurman, a former air safety investigator, told NBC News that “federal regulators require all pilots to be instrument-rated when flying during the kind of bad weather that descended on New York City on Monday.”
McCormack had left the 34th Street helipad at approximately 1:30 p.m., and was reportedly heading to Linden, New Jersey. No other injuries were reported, though a fire broke out on the roof of the building - which was evacuated - and fuel leaked as the Augusta A109E helicopter was broken into pieces.
McCormack graduated from Arlington High School in Lagrangeville. No announcements have been made yet regarding memorial services.
The incident remains under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board.
This continues to be a developing story. Check back to Daily Voice for updates.
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