New York lawmakers demand grounding of ‘joy-riding’ helicopter flights after latest crash

Jun 21, 2019
In The News

A group of powerful New York lawmakers is demanding an end to helicopter flights over the city after the latest deadly crash this month.

Nine members of congress, including Manhattan representatives Jerry Nadler and Carolyn Maloney, called on the Federal Aviation Administration to temporarily ground chopper flights until new safety rules can be implemented in the Big Apple’s crowded skies.

“We believe it’s time to end non-essential helicopter flights over our city,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter to acting FAA chief Daniel Elwell.

They said the latest crash should be a wake-up call for the urgent need for much tighter safety restrictions, especially on sightseeing helicopters that buzz above some of the most densely populated streets in the country.

A pilot died when he tried to make an emergency landing on the roof of a busy office building in midtown Manhattan on June 10.

“It could have been far worse had the helicopter crashed into the Midtown streets below or into a building,” the letter read, noting that the crash happened near Trump Tower, the president’s private residence.

There was no immediate response from the FAA.

At least 25 people have died in 30 chopper crashes in New York since 1982, including a 1989 collision with a small plane that killed 9 people.

“There is no justification for letting tourists joy-ride through our skies,” the lawmakers wrote.