Brian McDaniel, a two-year veteran of DFR who was assigned to Station 36, was in NY, visiting close high school friend Trevor Cadigan over the weekend, when the two boarded a Eurocopter AS350 hired for a private photo shoot Sunday evening.
The passengers were recovered by police and fire department divers, who had to remove them from tight harnesses while they were upside down, Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said.
When emergency workers responded, the helicopter was upside down and submerged, authorities said. Before the flights took off and as he was getting his camera gear ready, Adams said he talked to two young men whom he believes were among the victims. Prior to his job with Fly Liberty Charters, Vance worked at the Northeast Helicopters in Ellington as a flight instructor from 2012 to 2016.
The helicopter pilot and sole survivor of Sunday's crash in New York City's East River told police a loose tether on one of the killed passenger's harnesses might have triggered the fuel switch, according to authorities.
Some of the victims were identified on Monday.
Vallejos Blanco, a 28-year-old tourist from Argentina, was on a vacation taking a photographic tour of the city when she was killed, according to deputy consul general Eduardo Almirantearena.
Business Insider confirmed that journalist Trevor Cadigan had died in the crash as well.
He and others in the helicopter were on a professional photography mission when the helicopter went down.
This social media video appeared to show the moment the chopper crashed into the river.
"It was sinking really fast", Mary Lee, 66, told the New York Post.
'We've seen many things that have happened in an airplane.
Witnesses described seeing at least one person emerge from the helicopter and wave his hands for help.
The Federal Aviation Administration said the helicopter, a Eurocopter AS350, went down in the East River near Roosevelt Island at 7 p.m. ET. The NTSB tweeted that an investigation team of 14 people would arrive in New York Monday morning.
Coast Guard Station New York launched two 45-foot response boats and one 29-foot response boat to assist. A search-and-rescue operation immediately began following the incident, which revealed that all other passengers had not survived the crash.
John Dellaportas, president of a group that has advocated for restrictions on helicopter flights around the city, said safety of the flights is a major issue. Crashes are not uncommon.
A helicopter crash in October 2011 in the East River killed a British woman visiting the city for her 40th birthday. Three other passengers were injured.
Additional "mayday" calls indicated that engine failure was the cause of the crash, according to the Associated Press.
In 2009 one of its choppers collided with a small plane, killing nine people.