The Eurocopter AS350 crashed into the water at approximately 7pm local time on Sunday near the northern end of Roosevelt Island. Video taken by witnesses showed the helicopter splashing into the East River off East 96th Street on Manhattan's Upper East Side.
He continued, "The pilot freed himself".
The helicopter that went down is consistent with the kind of helicopter often used for aerial tours in the city, an FAA official told CBS News transportation correspondent Kris Van Cleave. The other two passengers who died were employees of the helicopter company, the paper said. Early Monday, a New York Police spokesman confirmed that all five passengers had died.
Officials did not immediately release the names of the pilot or passengers.
The FAA said that the National Transportation Safety Board will work to determine the probable cause of the incident.
The company offers both private charters and sightseeing tours for tourists. The New Jersey-based company said on its website it has the largest fleet in the Northeast and had an "unparalleled" safety record. "We have been in business and flying safely for over 30 years", it says.
Vallejos-Blanco was visiting NY from her native Argentina, according to the Consulate General Argentina in NY. Passengers were harnessed in tightly and the helicopter had no doors to provide better views for photography, officials said. "We don't have a great deal to report yet, but will provide regular updates".
"I saw it coming down toward the water".
"It was a pretty hard hit and then it flipped over", Skvaril, 23, told the New York Daily News.
A helicopter crash in October 2011 in the East River killed a British woman visiting the city for her 40th birthday.
The charter service, Liberty Helicopters, has been involved in two other high-profile crashes in NY.
"We need to know before we get in the chopper how to get ourselves out quickly", Adams said. "They were super excited about it".
"Zero Lima Hotel, mayday, mayday, mayday", he said. "My thoughts are with those killed", Magers said.
"There are a whole lot of questions about this crash", he said. The Federal Aviation Administration said it was investigating whether the flight had met regulations. On their back, between their shoulder blades, was a metal ring attached to a carabiner and tethered to the floor. It is dark, cold and you can not see anything.
Nigro and NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill spoke to reporters Sunday evening. "When you're anchored at your shoulder blade, you can't reach that".
The helicopter was recovered in the rescue operation and towed to a pier.
As the aircraft foundered, he made a mayday call and added: "East River - engine failure".
The flight lasted just 11 minutes.
McDaniel's mother and older brother live in Denver.
Thompson was the board president and a member of the Young New Yorkers' Chorus, according to the organization.
The video then pans to the river and a bridge and the setting sun in the distance. The other three, who had to be cut from their safety harnesses, were declared dead at the hospital.
"He was just straight compassion and loyalty" and humility, Masinter said.
A crane lifts the sightseeing helicopter that crashed on Sunday night from the East River in NY.
The sight-seeing helicopter went down in the East River with six people including the pilot, CNN reported.
There, federal investigators will comb through the wreckage to figure out what sent it crashing into the East River.
And in 2009, Capt. Owner Liberty Helicopters is referring all inquiries to investigators.
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