FAA Curbs Helicopter Flights After New York Crash

NTSB investigators examining the restraints inside the cabin of the New Jersey sightseeing helicopter that went down in the East River on Sunday

'Open door' helicopter flights with restraints banned nationwide in the aftermath of deadly East River crash

Jack Harter Helicopters operates five helicopters, four of which are flown with the doors removed. "HAI wants to create the safest possible flight for the public".

The move comes in response to a helicopter crash late Sunday night which killed all five passengers onboard besides the pilot. They drowned after the helicopter rolled over and sank.

Following the crash, New York City Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said divers had to cut passengers out of their harnesses.

The pilot radioed "mayday" and said he had lost power shortly before the impact.

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. "Our passenger restraints can be released quickly in an emergency". Only the pilot was able to escape after the helicopter hit the water, capsized and sunk.

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Doorless helicopters allow sightseers to take unobstructed photographs, but they require the use of tight-fitting harnesses to ensure passengers remain safely inside the helicopter.

The National Transportation Safety Board, which is investigating the accident, said it has conducted a tear-down of the helicopter's engine and found no evidence of any abnormalities.

Doors-off helicopter flights have become increasingly popular for photography purposes, as they allow photographers to capture aerial photos without glass interfering with their images. "Therefore, there are no new restrictions on our tour or utility flights".

The group's president, Matthew Zuccaro, has made his opposition to doorless flights known in conferences and in industry meetings, Sweet said.

On Kauai, there are several different companies who offer tours. It said it was referring all media inquiries to federal agencies.

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