The Federal Aviation Administration says that the pilot who died after crash landing a helicopter on the roof of a 54-story building in the heart of New York City was not cleared to fly in poor weather conditions.
Timothy McCormack was not "instrument rated," which is required for pilots when the visibility falls below three miles. When McCormack took off from the E. 34th St. heliport, weather conditions were deteriorating with heavy rains and thick clouds enveloping the city. The cloud ceiling was around 600 feet at the time and was just above the top of the building that he crashed landed on.
Officials are still trying to determine what caused the crash. McCormack was flying back to Linden Airport in New Jersey, and his flight path should not have taken him north over midtown Manhattan and into restricted airspace.
McCormack was a volunteer firefighter and an experienced pilot. He had been flying commercially for 15 years, both as a private pilot and for helicopter companies.
"He is a highly experienced, highly trained commercial helicopter pilot," Paul Dudley, the manager of Linden Airport, told the Poughkeepsie Journal. "He's been flying around the New York area and different places for many, many years."
Photo: East Clinton Volunteer Fire Department