Manhattan crash: Deceased pilot wasn’t certified to fly in bad weather

New York [USA]: Tim McCormack, the pilot who died after his helicopter crash-landed on the rooftop of a high-rise building in midtown Manhattan was not licensed to be airborne during inclement weather, officials said on Tuesday.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations, pilots are required to have an instrument rating when flying in poor weather conditions, the agency’s officials told Fox News.

The 58-year-old pilot, who had a flying experience of more than a decade, did not have the instrument rating and hence, was not licensed to fly in the downpour which lashed New York, including Manhattan on Monday, officials said.

Meanwhile, National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) air safety investigator Doug Brazy said that the agency was still investigating what caused the crash.

He added that the wreckage of the helicopter was almost burnt completely, but officials were trying their best to identify whatever they could recover from the site.

A preliminary report would be released in the next two weeks, Brazy said, adding, “We have much more work to do before this investigation is complete.”

The Agusta A109E helicopter took off from the 34th heliport at around 1:32 pm (local time) and crash-landed on the roof of the 54-storey building at 787 Seventh Avenue after being airborne for 11 minutes, police had said on Monday.

Authorities had ruled out a terror angle connected with the crash and no injuries were reported.

According to investigations by the police at the 34th Street heliport on Manhattan’s east side, the deceased pilot was waiting for the weather to improve but later decided to fly.

The helicopter flew around Battery Park on the southern tip of Manhattan and up the west side of the island, police had said.

The pilot then changed course suddenly as the chopper veered towards midtown Manhattan before it crash-landed onto the rooftop of the building.