A horror scene. On the stee of a skyscraper, the propeller cut off the passenger

The deformed propellers were pouring into the streets of New York like deadly projectiles. A New York Airways helicopter landed at a heliport on the stee of the PAN AM building, when something unexpected happened. The machine tilted and its rotors literally unleashed hell. Let us recall the forgotten crash of May 1977.

Helicopter crash N619PA on st

There is a rain and the peak of afternoon traffic in the streets of New York. Above the columns of lutch taxk in the crowded streets pelt stn helicopter Sikorsky S-61 of the company New York Airways (NYA), its machines are the shortest connection from the fly JFK to the city center. The flight from JFK on the roof of the PAN AM building takes barely ten minutes.

With the previous thanks, the first part of this miniseril about the forgotten helicopter crash of May 16, 1977.

These are the places of time. Machine first pistv, to osudnho okamiku zbvaj minutes.

Okamiky do katastrofy

Sikorsky S-61 L helicopter, registration N619PA, line 971 from JFK fly, pistol at the heliport marked with the abbreviation JPB on the stee of the PAN AM building at 17:33. The machine was driven from the northeast, and after a smooth and accurate pistol, Captain Lee G. Richmond turned 180 degrees to the left on the ground with a helicopter. Using the balancing rotor, he then made a short drive into the entrance space.

Richmond stopped the helicopter, braked, and let the rear wheel go, which was a normal procedure. The machine was grounded by the ground staff and the Lannie Chevalier flight attendant instructed the passengers to disembark. From the previous two, twenty passengers set out on the area, who fell for the next one, this time with a cocktail party at the Copter Club two floors apart (you can find more about the legendary bar with a divine view in the previous one).

For the departure of route 972 in the opposite direction to JFKstlo, another twenty passengers descend. Both pilots sat in their cities, the captain had his hands on the woman as prescribed. The collective lever was in the down position and the speed of the supporting rotor was at eighteen percent of the power of each engine. First Officer John F. Flanagan wrote a note of the previous flight in the flight book, and he relied on his knees to ensure that the collective woman was riding.

The collective combines the power control of the motor and at the same time serves to adjust the noise of the supporting rotor blade. To move the helicopter in the pn and along the axis, use the pilot of the cyclic zen or cyclic lever. The non-pedals control the direction of the gear by controlling the tail impeller of the balancing rotor, which balances the gyroscopic torque of the supporting rotor.

Fri seconds of hell

The N619PA sat on the surface for two minutes, when the crew heard a faint sound, rising accompanied by a tilting helicopter to the right. Both pilots immediately saw an engine stop after an emergency, but Captain Richmond was just as fast as the furnace and started at the ESC (Engine Speed ​​Control) lever. At the same time, the supply of fuel to both was shut off by the General Electric CT 58-140-2 engine.


Situation of the accident with the distortion of the wreckage of the debris.

The pilots said that the event was so fast that there was no need for a rotor brake. Captain Richmond then noticed how the disfigured leaves of the supporting rotor shattered the plexiglass in the window above Flanagan’s head. Sikorsky rolled onto his right flank, and the blades of the supporting rotor saw passengers traveling in front of the helicopter like a dead man. It didn’t take about five seconds.

The event took place when three passengers boarded the helicopter and the rest were getting ready to board. While the people on board suffered only minor injuries, the five-year-old boomerang had a descent of passengers on all three victims. One passenger was injured.

The leaves of the load-bearing rotor were deformed, torn, repeatedly, and their pieces, like non-projectiles, swept 260 meters into the surrounding streets. One of the quarries on the corner of Madison Avenue and 43rd Street fatally struck the head of a 29-year-old woman, another pedestrian, a tailor just a few feet away, suffered only wounds. Due to the nature of the injured, witnesses walking through the city first thought that the suicide jumper was stuck in a pedestrian.

The destruction of the torn rotor continued, when fragments of falling leaves on the street damaged several cars and, most of all, a few meters penetrated the window into the office at the 36th floor of the PAN AM building, where it demolished the interior. She stood a few feet away, then third out, towards Vanderbilt Avenue. The only employee in the office went to the bathroom with a hurt beforehand.

Sikorsky S-61 captured

Sikorsky S-61 captured on a NYA postcard above Manhattan.

A horror look

The glass was also carried in a screen of passengers on the entrance side of the roof of the PAN AM building. The pedestrians of the pedestrians down the streets noticed the glass, in front of which they tried in vain to protect themselves. The people suffered minor injuries. The metropolitan police immediately closed the area for car traffic. In the meantime, there was confusion on the upper floors of the PAN AM building, which caused that the hauls were not under manual fire control from the arrest, which also caused a time delay in the range of emergency services that arrived in the city, but from the 50th floor had to go up to svch.

The crew, who helped the passengers inside to get out of the overturned machine two, before the first fire brigade arrived, there was a scene on the surface of a horror bloodshed. Fragments of human passages, personal items from prunch taeks, newspapers, magazines, airline tickets and personal documents were among the baked but chained passengers. She decapitated one hunting propeller. Only the trolley with the luggage was completely untouched, to the left of the overturned helicopter, as a small witness to the tragic event.

The total balance of the helicopter accident on the street and in the streets was: thirty people slightly injured, including only the crew, two injured and five people killed. Without an instinctive and such immediate reaction of the pilot, the consequences of the scattering of falling debris could be much more tragic. Captain Richmond managed to turn off both engines at an angle of 45 degrees, so the blades of the supporting rotor sucked the concrete under the helicopter only persistence and were not moved from the engine.

The load-bearing rotor has five blades, each about nine kilograms long and eight and a half meters long. The farthest point, where debris was flying from the roof of PAN AMdopadly, was three blocks to the north and one block to the back. The two rotors, the carrier and the balancer, were located on the hundreds of their buildings and on the streets. A total of 111 cities of the impact of individual fractures was recorded and plotted.

naval material

After the rescue work, New York City Mayor Abraham Beane spent an hour on the stee building and during the improvised naive money of the conference press, he immediately closed the heliport and read the net. At the time, a seven-day-old NTSB investigator was on the way from Washington.

members of the dark NTSB arrived to go that evening. First of all, they focused on the weather conditions prevailing at the time of the accident.

NYA pilots, who regularly poured JPB, have often faced the changing nature of meteorological conditions and wind gusts in the past. That day the bag was cloudy, with a storage cloud of 450 meters, visibility of 24 kilometers, a temperature of 21 degrees and a windmill of 260/12 knots. According to the testimony of the pilot bag at the time of the piste prevailed.

The helicopter was equipped with a voice mark in the cockpit of the Fairchild A-100, production version 4129, but due to how quickly the whole event came together, the microphones did not record anything but a short sound sequence of metal rubbing against the concrete. The FDR helicopter was not equipped with a flight sign. At the time of the net, 450 kilograms of aviation fuel were on board, which the firefighters had to drain later. The total weight of the helicopter was eight thousand kilograms.

Finally, the NTSB identified the right upper strut material from the front right chassis assembly as the main cause of the accident. Therefore, it unexpectedly decreased and the victims were planted with the blades of the supporting rotor, which then described its trajectory.

This also showed that the Sikorsky company had 9,900 hours to complete the chassis inspection of the S-61 L model and to complete the overall overhaul of the machine during the flight. At the time of the accident, N619PA had only 6,913 hours and fifteen minutes.

According to known records, the system has been prescribed by gossip since June 1968, when the helicopter was manufactured. Although the fault for the accident did not fall on either the manufacturer or the operator, the NTSB initially required that for such loads as the first landing gear, the mandatory inspection be carried out according to the number of cycles, pistons and not according to the number of flight hours.


Havrie N619PA on the stee of the PAN AM building on May 16, 1977.

He gave havri and the end of one

Between the first burrow and May 16, 1977, NYA helicopters performed 7,240 movements on the stee building. In 1979, the company’s reputation was damaged by a fatal accident. On April 8, the Sikorsky S-61L-II, N618PA crashed, after breaking off one of the five blades of the balancing rotor after the start of the Newarkbhem climb of more than 400 meters. Because the machine was flying over the entrance edge, the crew turned to the gate and tried to make an emergency piston in place of autorotation.

However, just over fifty meters above the ground, the balancing rotor gearbox disconnected due to continued faults and the pilots lost control of the machine. Those passengers out of eighteen died, both pilots, the flight attendant and ten other passengers were seriously injured. They also had a Lee G. Richmond helicopter and a Lannie Chevalier squadron in the net. e vm ta jmna nco kaj ?! Then it is very correct, or both were members of the crashed helicopter on the PAN AM stage on May 16, 1977.

Both accidents, even though they were two years apart and the crews acted professionally, damaged the NYA’s reputation. Moreover, it failed to elite high fuel prices, and declared bankruptcy. Some of the NYA machines were recently operated by Columbia Helicopters, based in Auroe, Oregon.

The end of the second (over) debt.

An excerpt from a book being prepared.

Today, in addition to the remaining helicopters, there is also one very interesting aviation destiny connected with New York Airways, which you will be able to learn about for five weeks.