58-year-old Tim McCormack passed away after his helicopter crash-landed into a skyscraper in Manhattan, prompting the evacuation of many nearby buildings.
The airport manager confirmed McCormack, who was also a firefighter, was the pilot of the aircraft. Paul Dudley from the airport said to the New York Times that he was appointed to fly for the owner, Daniele Bodini, who traveled between the city and upstate New York.
According to officials, McCormack had taken off from the 34th Street heliport 11 minutes before he crash-landed with the helicopter onto top of the 750-foot building and it burst into flames.
He had been waiting out the bad weather but then chose to fly the 19-year-old helicopter. Unfortunately, the aircraft ended up crashing into the top of a building.
One witness, Steven Gartner, said to ABC News that he had “heard a buzz and a bang and then the entire building shook.”
Shauna Farrell, another witness, told the network: “We heard a loud whizzing sound of a motor and then we heard a crash and actually felt the crash as well.”
McCormack, who served with the department for 25 years and was chief for ten years, was reported dead within 45 minutes of the crash.
The station shared a heartfelt tribute to their chief, writing: “Tim was a dedicated, highly professional and extremely well trained firefighter. Tim’s technical knowledge and ability to command an emergency were exceptional.
“Chief McCormack was extremely respected by not only the members of the department, but throughout the Dutchess County fire service. Tim will be exceptionally missed by this department’s members, not only for his leadership but for his wonderful sense of humor. Rest in Peace Brother.”
Stu Loeser & Co., American Continental Properties said in a statement: “We are mourning the loss of Tim McCormack who has flown for us for the past five years. Our hearts are with his family and friends.”
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