Helicopter Crash in East River

Helicopter Crash in East River

The Factual Situation that Led to the Incident

On March 2018, a helicopter carrying five passengers crashed into the East River on the upper East side of Manhattan. The crash led to a total of five casualties; two people have died on the scene, and three were pronounced dead in the hospital. The pilot, however, managed to escape from the helicopter before the crash. This was an aircraft owned and operated by the Liberty Helicopter Group from the Flynyon (McGeehan, 1). The flight was from Connecticut to Manhattan. Evidence shows that the passengers were taking photographs in the helicopter before one of them stepped onto the gas unknowingly while they were posing for the coveted “shoe selfie” that has been a social media sensation for the travelers. This resulted in the pilot losing control of the helicopter. The pilot warned the passengers of the dangers before he made a call for help. From the statements given by the pilot, the helicopter was supposed to land at the park, but there were too many people in there. Hence he decided to make circling rounds before crashing into the river. Many other witnesses pointed out the complications passengers have faced in the past when boarding these types of helicopters. Apart from the inability to move from the airplane, they do not have ease of accessing the parachutes. The pilot tried to slow down the helicopter by continuously circling as he yelled for the passengers to return to their seats.


First Responder

The first responders to the scene were the New York Police Department and the New York Fire Department who were to conduct a possible rescue operation. The police reported that the pilot called for help before the crash. He shouted “Mayday” three times before the crash.  Apart from the New York Police Departments, and the Fire Departments; there were the other responders on the scene including the news reporting houses such as the New York Daily News and the other news stations (McGeehan, 1). The different levels of government, the federal agencies, the local agency, and the state’s bodies had to look into the matter that led to the helicopter crash. The responders came up with the different findings that could help with the investigation. The federal administration reported the situation stating that the accident occurred at seven in the evening and they were still investigating the matter. In addition, the National Transport and Safety Boards were involved in the investigation and were determined to find out the cause of the crash. The United States Coast Guard where the other agency that launched an investigation. Each of these responders had different functions when it comes to this type of investigation to ensure that no similar crash can occur in the future.

Intergovernmental Relationship and the Actors Involved

The relationship between the government of the state, the federal government and the local government, were all conducting the investigations and to try and rescue the passengers. These three levels of the government operate at different capacities, as defined by the law. However, they depend on each other to find the cause of such problems.  The New York Police Department is part of the agency of the state and were the first people to arrive at the scene. The local government includes the firefighters who are called onto the situation to try and rescue the people. When it comes to the federal government, the FBI and other investigative bodies ensure that there is an extensive investigation and that those that are responsible for such accidents are brought to book. This relationship is essential as it shows that all the bodies have different functionality in the event of a disaster and an accident like this one. The Fire Department is the other part of the government that had to respond to the situation and rescue the surviving victims even before starting an investigation. The Coastal Guard is also part of the Federal Government that has to see to the situation to give evidence as to whether they follow the rules or not. Several days after the crash, the Federal Aviation Administration gave an order that the door-off flights have to be banned. The flights that allow the passengers to fly while the door has been left open and has become the most popular tourist attraction in Manhattan for many tourists. However, because of the incident, it was necessary that the Federal Aviation Administration banned travelers from traveling while the helicopter doors are open. The National Transport and Safety Boards did not have any conclusion about the leading cause of this accident. The intergovernmental relationship is key to having a successful investigation. The Transport and Safety Board stated that the investigation was likely to take several months before a conclusion can arrive. The Safety Board also called onto the EAA to take action against a similar situation by banning the flights that allow for such complacencies while traveling. This is quite a risky move by the flight companies. The administration regulation laws help individuals and other attorneys to corporate and have an understanding of complying with the different legal requirements.  The administrative and the regulation attorney also support serious issues especially those that deal with the safety of human beings and the environment. This relationship was significant in giving suggestions as to which part of the government have different roles to play (Anderson 1).

The Role of Federal Agencies in Oversight over Aircrafts

When the first aircraft was launched in the country, its leading role was to transport the passengers through the postal service. At the time, the Federal Government have been regulating and promoting all the aviation industry operations. The proposal of the Aircrafts Mails and Commerce Act that was passed in the 1920s gave the role of the Federal Government in aviation.  The application and the use of the aircraft by the military to transport people and weapons made the aviation industry became the most important industry in the world.  The Federal Aviation Agency, also known as the Federal Aviation Administration has the role of certifying all the aircrafts and ensures that all the pilots are certified.  It also oversees that al the safety regulations are followed. The commission also set the standards that have to be met by all the passenger flights and helicopters for the safety of the travelers. The Department of Transportation ensures that all the helicopters and aircrafts use the defined and safe routes and that they are all safe through the air. The other roles of the federal agency include promoting the aircraft and the aviation services, establishing and maintaining the traffic systems and enforcing the set regulations of safety through the air (Anderson 1).  Apart from these, they educate the people involved in the aircraft industry and certify the personnel that is working in the places.

During the flight, it is probable that the flight may face a problem; the authority ensures that they determine the possible problems that come from the air and warn of any possible occurrence. This is the agency that has been charged with the responsibility to notify any cause of accidents in the air by the Federal agency. The information that is given has to be valuable and is gathered from the industries and the members of the public before validation. Such information is helpful as they can prevent such incidences. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) also gives several recommendations for the industries to the FAA and the other congress members in the matters dealing with air transport. Nonetheless, they have no legal power to legislate any law. It is through recommendations that influence the decisions of the executive, the judiciary and the Federal Government.

The Department of Homeland Security is the other significant body of the Federal Government that was created to oversee the aircraft department after the country had suffered from the terrorist attack of the September eleventh (9/11). The main aim of the body is to ensure that there is adequate security and that the nation is not under the threat or the attack. The US is faced with many threats including the terrorist attacks that can be avoided by successful security installations. There are more than 230, 000 people who are employed in aviation and they are always exposed to threats from terrorists, cybersecurity and border security. The Federal Government is, therefore, more concerned about the security of the people operating in the aviation industry.


Works cited

Anderson, Jonathan M. “Administrative / Regulatory Law.” U.S. News & World Report, U.S. News & World Report. www.bestlawfirms.usnews.com/administrative-regulatory-law/overview. 22 Mar. 2019.

McGeehan, Patrick. “Passenger’s Harness May Have Tripped Switch in Deadly Helicopter Crash.” The New York Times, the New York Times.  www.nytimes.com/2018/03/26/nyregion/east-river-helicopter-crash-pilot-interview.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share. 22 Mar. 2019.