In March 2018, a helicopter crashed in New York City's East River, causing the death of five passengers onboard, and today, a similar drama played out amidst NYC's skyline. A helicopter, operated by Zip Aviation which works with charter providers such as Blade, and Uber-like company for choppers, crashed into the Hudson River—thankfully with no fatalities.
The pilot careened into the Hudson not long after taking off from the West 30th Street heliport at 2:25 p.m. ET. According to CBS New York, the pilot heard a loud "boom" after taking flight and activated "yellow floats," which kept the aircraft from sinking into the Hudson, before crashing some 150 feet from the heliport. NYPD crews soon arrived at the scene.
It's uncertain whether the accident was caused by pilot error or a mechanical malfunction, but the NYPD and the NYFD said they have ed the National Transportation Safety Board, but seeing as the crash is considered an "emergency landing" the NTSB will not be investigating, according to a statement from Blade.
New York City is one of the busiest helicopter locations in the country, catering to the bustling financial district, tourism industry, and wealthy patrons. From this demand for helicopter travel came Blade. The company operates mainly in the NYC area—ferrying paying passengers from the city to the area's three major airports—charging $195 a seat.
Last week, Bloomberg profiled the company and its CEO Rob Wiesenthal, who said that Blade was able to slash prices "without compromising safety."
Update: Here's the full statement from Blade:
Yesterday, a helicopter made a safe emergency landing on floats in the Hudson River near the heliport. There were no passengers on board. The pilot was not injured and immediately exited the aircraft.
The helicopter was being repositioned to the West Side Heliport for fueling by the operator, Zip Aviation, and was not servicing a Blade mission.
Because there were no injuries, the incident is being treated as an emergency landing and NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) will not be investigating.
All Blade services are operating normally.
Source: CBS New York