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Pilot killed in fiery copter plunge on NY skyscraper

World | REUTERS Jun 12, 2019
<p>A helicopter crashed onto the fog-shrouded roof of a midtown Manhattan skyscraper, killing the pilot and unnerving a city still scarred by memories of the September 11, 2001, plane attacks on the World Trade Center.</p><p>The crash on a rainy, gray day atop the 54-storey AXA Equitable Center forced office workers to evacuate one of the city&#39;s busiest areas a few blocks north of Times Square.</p><p>The pilot was the only person aboard the chopper when it plunged into the building and burst into flames, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told a news conference. &quot;The helicopter is pretty obliterated at this point. It was obviously a very hard hit,&quot; De Blasio said, adding nothing indicated an act of terrorism.</p><p>Nicolas Estevez was standing across the street from the building when a 30-centimeter piece of metal that appeared to be from the helicopter landed on the pavement just feet away.</p><p>The crash, which sent people streaming out of the building within seconds, reminded him of September 11, Estevez said.</p><p>A key mystery in the crash is why the Agusta A109E was flying at all in a rainstorm in tightly controlled airspace.</p><p>To enter that vicinity, the pilot would have needed approval from the air traffic control tower at LaGuardia Airport across the East River in Queens, &quot;and we need to find out if that happened,&quot; De Blasio said.</p><p>The pilot was identified as Tim McCormack, who was going to land at Linden Airport in New Jersey, said Paul Dudley, the airport&#39;s director.</p><p>&quot;Tim McCormack is a well-respected, highly trained veteran pilot who also had tremendous local knowledge,&quot; Dudley said.</p><p>The chopper took off from a heliport on Manhattan&#39;s east side and crash-landed on the building 11 minutes later, officials said.</p>


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