New York Copter Crash: Here’s What Happened

The pilot of the helicopter that crashed in New York City yesterday (Monday) shouldn’t have been flying, according to the FAA.

Timothy McCormack, who died in the accident, was not licensed to fly by instrumentation. FAA regulations stipulate that only pilots who can fly by instrumentation be in the air when visibility is less than three miles. Rain and low clouds had descended on Manhattan yesterday.

According to media reports, McCormack was an experienced pilot and thought he’d have a window of clear weather when he took off less than a mile away from the crash site. He quickly realized his error and asked air-traffic controllers for permission to return, but crashed into the roof of the Midtown building.

He was also likely in a restricted area. The FAA has banned aircraft flying below 3000 feet within a mile of Trump Tower. (USA TodayNBC News)

Hot Takes:

  • If you’re only able to fly visually, you can get really disoriented when visibility is low.
  • He probably didn’t even know he was in a restricted zone.
  • This could have been a lot worse if he’d flown into the side of a building instead of the roof.