- A helicopter crashed into the Hudson River in New York City on Wednesday.
- The pilot was the only person on board and safely removed without injury, the New York City Fire Department said.
- The helicopter was being operated by Zip Aviation, NYPD and FDNY officials said at a press conference. The company operates flights for the on-demand service Blade.
A helicopter has crashed into the Hudson River in New York City, the New York City Fire Department confirmed Wednesday afternoon.
A spokesperson for the FDNY confirmed the crash and said the pilot, the only person on board, was safely removed from the water with no injuries. The department’s verified Twitter account said there were two other non-life-threatening injuries.
Video taken by an onlooker shows the helicopter spinning and flying erratically before crashing into the river.
WATCH: Bystander captures the moment a helicopter crashes into New York's Hudson River; the pilot survived pic.twitter.com/0bIoHanvPL
— BNO News (@BNONews) May 15, 2019
New York Waterway, a company that operates ferries between Manhattan and New Jersey, said in a press release that one of its boats rescued the pilot of the helicopter. The company also assisted with rescue efforts when a US Airways plane famously landed in the Hudson River in 2009.
Local news channels showed a large police and fire response to the crash, as onlookers flooded into a riverside park to get a better look at the incident. The West Side Highway was partially closed to southbound traffic following the crash as first responders towed the aircraft to the shore.
By 4 p.m. local time, live footage showed the aircraft had been hoisted out of the murky river water and onto the deck of a boat.
In a press conference, New York City Police Department and FDNY officials said the pilot had just refueled the helicopter and was attempting to reposition the aircraft when he lost control. He escaped with only a minor injury to his left hand, Stephen Hughes, the assistant NYPD chief, told reporters. A dock worker, who was running to avoid being hit by the aircraft, was also injured when he slipped and fell on his right wrist, Hughes said.
Local officials said they would hand over the investigation to the National Transportation Safety Board, which has been notified of the crash.
Officials said the helicopter was being operated by Zip Aviation, a charter company that also operates flights on behalf of Blade. Both companies’ logos were visible on the side of the helicopter as it was pulled from the water.
A Blade representative confirmed the helicopter was being operated by Zip Aviation, though it was not flying for Blade at the time of the crash.
“The helicopter was being repositioned to the West Side Heliport for fueling by the operator, Zip Aviation, and was not servicing a Blade mission,” the representative said. “All Blade services are operating normally.”
Zip Aviation not has responded to a request for comment from Business Insider.
Blade is an on-demand helicopter service that operates shuttles from Manhattan to nearby airports, including Newark Liberty International Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport, for $195 per seat, according to the company’s website.
In March 2018, a private helicopter crashed into the East River in New York, killing five people on board.
#FDNY members remain on scene of a helicopter crash in the Hudson River. The helicopter is tied to the pier at this time. The pilot is on land, and was the only person on board. pic.twitter.com/AK5MvjvAP4
— FDNY (@FDNY) May 15, 2019
There are currently 2 non-life-threatening injuries reported on scene of a helicopter crash into the Hudson River – the pilot and one heliport worker injured by debris. #FDNY operations continue. pic.twitter.com/Z1hA2PBKMC
— FDNY (@FDNY) May 15, 2019
UPDATE: a helicopter fell short of the landing pad on West 30th street and Hudson River. The pilot is out of the water and the helicopter is secured. Please avoid the area. pic.twitter.com/oDRQrccrNx
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) May 15, 2019