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Published: Mon, March 19, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

FAA Grounds Helicopter Flights Like One That Crashed in NY

FAA Grounds Helicopter Flights Like One That Crashed in NY

Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand are calling for a federal investigation into how such flights ever got off the ground.

Five passengers drowned on March 11 during a doors-off flight after the copter crashed into the East River.

In the wake of this week's deadly helicopter accident involving passengers who were harnessed into their seats for an "doors off" photo flight over NY, the Federal Aviation Administration on Friday said it was placing new restrictions on aircraft operators. The flight's pilot, Richard Vance, survived.

The NTSB said it found no abnormalities in the engine of the downed helicopter.

Prior to Friday's statement, the FAA said on Tuesday that representatives are looking into the use of harnesses created specifically for aerial photography flights. The harnesses allow passengers to lean out of the helicopter to capture photographs.

Fire department commissioner Daniel Nigro said divers had to cut passengers out because the harnesses had kept them strapped to their seats as the helicopter sank in the river.

The cause of Sunday's crash hasn't been determined.

"A deep dive into the FAA policies and practices for reviewing the crashworthiness of helicopters is clearly needed in this case", they write to Inspector General Scovel III and Vice Chairman Dinh-Zarr.

FAA Statement 2/3: Until then, the #FAA will order no more "doors off" operations that involve restraints that can not be released quickly in an emergency.

The Federal Aviation Administration is taking immediate actions to "control or mitigate" the risks that passengers can't escape such flights in the event of an emergency, the agency said in an emailed statement Friday.

Vin has been covering transportation at amNewYork since 2016.

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