Five killed in Liberty Helicopters crash in NYC’s East River

MARCH 15, 2018

NTSB Update

The NTSB provided an update on its investigation. Among the initial findings include that there were no issues with the helicopter’s engine, no pre-impact failure or malfunctions involving the flight controls, and no evidence of pre-impact breakup. The investigation continues. Read the full release.

The FAA and NTSB are investigating the cause of a New York City helicopter crash that tragically claimed the lives of five passengers on March 11, 2018.

The helicopter had been chartered for a private photo shoot through New Jersey-based charter and sightseeing service Liberty Helicopters, according to news reports. The helicopter’s passengers were tightly harnessed in their seats when the helicopter unexpectedly went down into the East River. The aircraft’s pilot managed to free himself from the submerged aircraft and spoke to investigators after being rescued.

The pilot reported experiencing engine failure in a mayday call to LaGuardia Airport shortly before the crash occurred. The cause of the failure has not yet been determined.

Liberty Helicopters has been at the center of three helicopter crashes over the past 11 years, including a midair collision that killed nine people in August 2009. In that collision, investigators determined that one of the company’s helicopters was flying too high when it crashed into a small private plane over the Hudson River.

For more information, contact Motley Rice aviation attorney, CNN Transportation Analyst and former U.S. Department of Transportation Inspector General, Mary Schiavo at 843.216.9138 or