UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL (UNI) — A helicopter crash into the East River near Manhattan killed five passengers.
Authorities said the pilot was the only one to survive the Sunday, March 10 crash.
The Eurocopter AS350 from Liberty Helicopters was flying along a route popular to New York City sightseers.
The passengers on board commissioned it for a private photoshoot.
The pilot, 33-year-old Richard Vance, told investigators a passenger’s piece of luggage hit an emergency fuel shutoff button.
The New York Times reported witnesses said the aircraft was flying too fast and descending too quickly.
The Federal Aviation Administration said the helicopter went down at 7 p.m. local time.
Vance issued an emergency call to LaGuardia Airport that it had engine failure.
Police said the helicopter was fully submerged when emergency services arrived.
The National Transportation Safety Board said it will lead the crash investigation beginning Monday.