Hudson Valley Fire Chief Killed in NYC ‘Didn’t Know’ Where He Was
The Hudson Valley fire chief killed in a helicopter crash "didn't know where he was" and thought he had a "20-minute window" to fly.
On June 10, a helicopter was destroyed when it crashed onto the roof of a building in New York City. The pilot, 58-year-old Tim McCormack of Clinton Corners, who's described as an experienced pilot, was killed in the crash.
McCormack was the Chief for the East Clinton Volunteer Fire Department for over 10 years and also a member of the LaGrange Fire Department.
On the morning of the crash, McCormack and a passenger departed the Bel-Aire
heliport in Amenia stopped for fuel at Hudson Valley Regional Airport in Poughkeepsie and then flew to the East 34th street heliport in New York City.
McCormack waited in the heliport for two hours, while continuously checking weather conditions using his tablet computer, according to the NTSB.
Prior to departing for Linden, New Jersey, he mentioned to the staff that he saw a "20-minute window to make it out."
According to preliminary tracking data obtained from the Federal Aviation Administration, the helicopter departed the East 34th street heliport, flew south over the East River, before changing course northward.
Less than 10 minutes after departure, McCormack contacted Atlantic Aviation and made a request to return to the heliport. He then radioed that he "did not know where he was," according to an NTSB report.
The helicopter flew erratically over the East River, changed course and altitude several times and flew erratically over Manhattan, before crashing onto the roof of the 54-story building at 787 7th Avenue, officials say.
The former Hudson Valley fire chief didn't have an instrument rating and was only cleared as a visual flight pilot, according to the NTSB.