Brian McDaniel, an officer with Dallas Fire-Rescue. Vance, 33, told investigators he believed a passenger's bag hit the fuel cut-off switch with a piece of equipment, which may have caused the engine to sputter and the chopper to plunge into the river. She saw McDaniel just last week at the grocery store, when McDaniel told her how excited he was for his trip to NY and how much he loved being a firefighter.
On Company videos "FlyNyon" advertises their "8-point safety harnesses" specially created to keep passengers securely strapped to the helicopter, allowing them to dangle from the doorless craft snapping photos hundreds of feet above New York City. In a radio transmission released after the crash, the pilot can be heard saying "Mayday, mayday, mayday" and "East River engine failure".
The passengers had chartered the helicopter from Liberty Helicopters for a private photo shoot.
Liberty has been operating charter flights since 1986, according to the company, and unfortunately, this isn't the company's first crash. Reviews of the business online have, by and large, been positive, but following the tragic death of five passengers that likely survived the crash, only to perish due to their restraints, some have raised questions about the business's safety record.
She expects that the NTSB would be on site for five to seven days, investigating air traffic control, operations, airworthiness, survival factors, power plants and weather with Todd Gunther, a senior aviation investigator with 30 years of experience, at the helm.
The scene of a helicopter crash in the East River.
Passenger gear eyed as possible cause of fatal NYC helicopter crash
The moment the helicopter crashed into the East River.
The US Coast Guard launched three boats to aid in the response, joining New York City emergency responders. "We will not be determining probable cause or speculate what may have caused this accident".
In June 2012, another Eurocopter AS350, which was owned by the Kenya police, crashed in Kibiku area in Ngong.
Liberty Helicopter and FlyNYON did not respond to requests for comment on Monday morning. The other three passengers, who had to be cut from the helicopter's safety harnesses, were declared dead at the hospital.
What kind of safety equipment do helicopters carry?
Witnesses told NY1 that they saw the helicopter drop into the water, submerge and turn onto its side.