The National Transportation Safety Board said Monday that 14 of its employees were en route to investigate the crash. He made a mayday call to LaGuardia Airport saying that the aircraft experienced engine failure.
The passengers were recovered by police and fire department divers, who had to remove them from tight harnesses while they were upside down, Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said.
The pilot was able to cut himself free from his seat-restraints and make it to the surface to be rescued.
"Mayday, mayday, mayday", the pilot told air traffic controllers as it was going down, according to a recording of the radio call. The pilot's brother, Anthony Vance, however, credited his brother's piloting skills and had some harsh words for those who would paint the pilot has the villain.
'I suspect a more plausible explanation is that the pilot simply activated the wrong lever, and this sometimes happens, ' said aviation lawyer Gary C. Robb.
On Monday, a law enforcement official identified the vicitms as Daniel Thompson, 34, and Tristan Hill, 29, both from New York; Trevor Cadigan and Brian McDaniel, both 26 from Dallas; and Carla Vallejos Blanco, 29, who was from Argentina.
The U.S. Coast Guard launched three boats to aid in the response, joining New York City emergency responders.
"You could clearly see they were searching", she said. His internship at the business news site Business Insider ended a few weeks ago. "He loved his family and friends and this city". He also interned with ABC News affiliate WFAA-TV where his father, Jerry, was the station's production manager. "All of our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families".
In 2009 one of its choppers collided with a small plane, killing nine people. He says it looks like they deployed, but possibly not all of them until after the crash.
Meanwhile in 2007 one of their choppers crashed into the Hudson River. All 155 people on board survived the episode, which was depicted in the 2016 movie "Sully", starring Tom Hanks.
Liberty Helicopters is one of the biggest sightseeing operators in New York City. The cause of the crash has not been officially determined.
According to FDNY officials, the helicopter landed and then flipped over in the water. Based on the video of the crash, Robb speculated that one of the floats on the helicopter did not activate, which may have caused it to turn sideways in the water.
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