NTSB investigating Manhattan chopper crash that killed pilot

June 11 (UPI) — The National Transportation Safety Board started investigating Tuesday why a helicopter crashed on the roof of a Manhattan tower, killing the pilot.

The chopper, flown by pilot Tim McCormack, crashed Monday atop the 54-story AXA Equitable Building and caught fire. Authorities closed down several blocks in Midtown Manhattan while firefighters rushed to the roof.

The civil aviation agency is working to find out how the helicopter crashed in rainy and foggy conditions, and why it was flying in restricted airspace.

Police Commissioner James O’Neill said Monday it took off from a nearby heliport 11 minutes before the crash, which was described as a “hard landing.”

“If you witnessed Monday’s helicopter crash in NYC, have video you shot of the crash or photos you took of the crash, NTSB investigators would like to hear from you,” the NTSB tweeted Monday.

McCormack, 58, the only person aboard the helicopter, was an experienced flyer and a volunteer firefighter in Clinton Corners, N.Y.

“Tim will be exceptionally missed by his department members, not only for his leadership but his wonderful sense of humor,” East Clinton Fire Department Chief Don Estes said.

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