Mystery Surrounds the Helicopter Crash-Landing in New York City

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Investigators are trying to solve the mystery behind what could have been a major disaster when a helicopter crashed and burned on top of a Manhattan skyscraper.  

Inside Edition retraced the flight path of the doomed helicopter.

Timothy McCormack, 58, took off from a heliport on East 34th Street in rainy and foggy conditions. He was heading for an airport in New Jersey 17 miles away when he began flying erratically, at one point taking a nose-dive before flying over Manhattan. 

McCormack breached the strict 1-mile “no fly zone” that surrounds Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue. Pilots can avoid the zone by staying south of the Empire State Building

Pilot Jim Miller of New Jersey Chopper flew Inside Edition around the area Tuesday. He said McCormack would never have intentionally flown into restricted airspace.    

“It would have been illegal to do that. I think he just got disoriented,” Miller said. “It takes about a week to get approval to fly in there.” 

Miller believes the clouds disoriented McCormack and he ended up in Midtown. The crash happened only 200 yards from Times Square. 

Experts believe McCormack may have also developed engine trouble. Knowing he was about to crash, it is believed he aimed for the roof of a building to avoid casualties on the ground. 

Miller described McCormack as a "real gentle guy."


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