• Breanna Johns

NYC helicopter crash leaves 5 passengers dead

On March 11, 2018, a New York City helicopter crashed. The crash killed everyone on board except the pilot. The pilot told investigators that the crash could have been caused by a passenger’s piece of luggage.

A passenger’s bag may have “inadvertently” hit the emergency button that shuts off the fuel to the helicopter.

The pilot was identified as 33-year-old Richard Vance.

The group was flying on a Liberty Helicopters chopper for a private photo shoot.

According to CNN, “The National Transportation Safety Board will try to determine the cause of the Sunday evening crash. The NTSB tweeted that an investigation team of 14 people would arrive Monday morning.”

According to Time, “Witnesses on a waterfront esplanade near where the aircraft went down said the helicopter was flying noisily, then suddenly dropped into the water and quickly submerged. But the pilot appeared on the surface, holding onto a flotation device as a tugboat and then police boats approached.”

The Liberty Helicopter company has had three crashes in 11 years. The company describes itself as "the largest and most experienced helicopter sightseeing and charter service in New York City."

The NTSB will more than likely look at three things about the crash: the pilot’s training, experience, and immediate response during the time of the crash. They will also determine whetheranything that was on the helicopter could have caused the crash, and what the environmental factors were.

After that, the NTSB will release a preliminary report and a probable-cause report.