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By Glynn Cosker
Managing Editor, EDM Digest
A commuter helicopter crashed into New York City’s Hudson River Wednesday afternoon after the pilot tried and failed to land on a helipad.
According to sources near the crash site, the 35-year-old pilot refueled the helicopter at one area of a West 30th Street heliport, took off and then attempted to travel a short distance to the passenger pickup area of the same heliport. The helicopter suddenly lost altitude at around 2:20 p.m.
A representative for FDNY stated that a New York Waterways ferry crew rescued the pilot – the only occupant of the aircraft. The pilot and a worker on the helipad each suffered non-life-threatening injuries but refused treatment.
Commuter Helicopter Known as the ‘Uber For Helicopters’
According to the New York Post, the aircraft was operated by Blade and is known in the area as the “Uber for helicopters.” A representative for Blade, which runs chartered shuttles to various NYC-vicinity locations, confirmed to the New York Post: “A pilot made an emergency landing on floats on the river. No passengers were on board.”
A 74-year-old eyewitness to the crash, Al Gaydos, told the NY Daily News that the helicopter “just hovered there for maybe a couple of minutes before it just came down.” Gaydos further stated that the “rotary blades snapped and flew off after they sliced into the water.”
Video footage provided to CNN shows the helicopter, a Bell 206, attempting to stabilize before spinning erratically and plummeting nose-first into the Hudson. Photos from the rescue scene show the aircraft partially submerged and upside down with inflatable pontoons preventing it from sinking.
New York City is no stranger to helicopter crashes. In March 2018, one crashed into the East River in New York City, killing five of its passengers.