Jimmy MARGULIES and amNEW YORK
Jimmy MARGULIES and amNEW YORK

In the News

Photo by Evgeniia Ozerkina

Helicopter Noise Complaints Soar On Parts Of Upper East SidePatch

December 1, 2020 – Complaints about noisy helicopters have risen by nearly 50 percent on the Upper East Side this year, according to 311 data from the city. Read more…

Noise Is Driving Stuck-At-Home New Yorkers Nuts, 311 Data ShowsYahoo News

November 27, 2020 – Take the chuff-chuff-chuff of whirling helicopter blades flying over high rises. Complaints to 311 about helicopter noise are up more than 130 percent over 2019, as detailed in a report by THE CITY. Read more…

Photo by Julia Vitullo-Martin

Can the Manhattan Borough President Stop the Chop?Gotham Gazette

November 26, 2020 -Thanks to an onslaught of out-of-town tourist helicopters and small planes flying over New York landmarks, a quiet weekend day in Central Park or Governors Island or the Brooklyn waterfront has become a thing of the past. Read more…

Helicopter Noise Complaints Sky High as Anxious, Cooped-Up New Yorkers Feel Buzzed – The City

November 12, 2020 – Complaints to 311 about helicopters noisily hovering above New York have soared this year — with an analysis by THE CITY showing a more than 130% increase over 2019. Read more…

PHOTO BY CHRIS BARBALIS/UNSPLASH

Ending Aircraft Noise Is a Priority for Community Board 7NYC Reopens

October 20, 2020 – Upper West Side residents, fed up with low-flying aircraft, are speaking out. On a two-hour Zoom call last Tuesday, the transportation committee for Community Board 7 spent most of the time airing their grievances about noise and environmental damage caused by private helicopters. Read more…

Sightseeing Helicopter Tours Bounce Back To Disturb New Yorkers’ Fragile PeaceGothamist

September 23, 2020 – Visitors to Central Park in recent weeks have had their peace repeatedly disturbed by extremely loud sightseeing helicopters hovering low over the park.

Among those aggravated by the chopper activity is Adrian Benepe, the former New York City Parks Commissioner under former Mayor (and helicopter pilot) Michael Bloomberg. On Sunday, Benepe said he noticed a number of helicopters hovering over Central Park’s North Meadow by 100th Street where he was attempting to get some peace and quiet. Read more…

New York City’s Noisy, Dangerous, Open SkiesGotham Gazette

September 11, 2020 – For New Yorkers living below the flight paths of what helicopter companies consider to be photogenic or interesting neighborhoods, Labor Day weekend was sheer hell. And, ironically, very few of those noisy, polluting, low-flying helicopters flew from New York-based heliports. Read more…

NYC helicopter company in deadly 2018 crash ignores social distancing during coronavirus pandemicNY Daily News

May 28, 2020 – A helicopter sightseeing company that lost five passengers in a 2018 East River crash is setting aside social distancing rules as it offers big discounts to lure customers in the coronavirus pandemic. Read more…

New York woman sues after she claims she was blown off her bike by a helicopterWPDH

March 9, 2020 – Read more…

New York’s Wrongly Open SkiesGotham Gazette

February 12, 2020 – Helicopter crashes in the skies of New York City — two in 2019 —temporarily bring renewed attention to the odd situation by which hundreds of vehicles weighing up to 12,000 pounds each fly low every day over the country’s densest city, a city that was attacked from the air in 2001. Read more…

Kobe Bryant helicopter lacked recommended safety deviceAP News

January 28, 2020 – The helicopter carrying Kobe Bryant didn’t have a recommended warning system to alert the pilot he was too close to land but it’s not clear it would have averted the crash that killed nine because the pilot may have lost control as the aircraft plunged into a fog-shrouded mountain, federal investigators said Tuesday. Read more…

James Devaney/Getty Images

New York City helicopter crash in 2018 was ‘survivable,’ secondary harnesses ‘unsafe’: NTSBABC News

January 25, 2020 – A tourist helicopter crash in New York City’s East River that killed all five passengers was “survivable,” but a secondary harness system likely preventing them from escaping, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. Read more…

Missing Hawaii Tour Helicopter Found; 6 Confirmed DeadPatch

December 28, 2019 – A Hawaii tour helicopter missing since Thursday has been found, and authorities have confirmed six people on board are dead and one is missing. The search for the final person resumed on Saturday. There are no indications that anybody survived the crash, authorities said Friday night after the remains of six of the people on board were found, The Associated Press reported. Read more…

Lawmaker Seeks To Permit Airports To Set Noise RestrictionsAIN Online

December 16, 2019 – A Colorado congressman has drafted a bill that would permit general aviation airports to impose a range of operational restrictions—such as type of aircraft that can use their facilities—in response to local noise concerns. Offered by Rep. Joe Neguse (D), the Aircraft Noise Reduction Act is the latest introduced in recent months designed to facilitate local control over operational restrictions with others focused on helicopters and air tours. Read more…

NTSB: Fatal FlyNYON flight was exploiting ‘loophole’ in regsVertical Mag

December 11, 2019 – The doors-off helicopter tour company FlyNYON built its business on a regulatory loophole, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) should step in to close it. Read more…

Brooklynites drowning in helicopter noise since Uber Copter, Blade launch New York Post

December 7, 2019 – An influx of on-demand chopper services like Uber-Copter and Blade offering airportgoers an alternative to Manhattan gridlock for as little as $95 are flooding the skies over brownstone Brooklyn and lower Manhattan — and assaulting residents’ eardrums. Read more…

The Unfriendly Skies Above New York CityNew York Magazine

October 27, 2019 – Earlier this month, Uber made a feature called “Copter” available to all of its users in New York City. Now, for a few hundred dollars, anyone with the Uber app can splurge on a quick, relatively glamorous airborne trip to Kennedy airport. Read more…

Lawmakers Introduce Bill To Ban Non-Essential Helicopter Flights In NYCWCBS News Radio

October 26, 2019 – After several deadly crashes over the last few years, lawmakers are now looking to ban most helicopter flights over New York City. Read more…

Reps. Maloney, Nadler, Velazquez Introduce Legislation to Address NYC’s Helicopter Safety NeedsPress Release

October 26, 2019 – Today, Representatives Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), Jerrold Nadler (NY-10), and Nydia M. Velazquez (NY-07) joined local elected officials and community groups to announce the introduction of their Improving Helicopter Safety Act of 2019. Read more…

NY Lawmakers Seek To Ban Nonessential Helicopters From The City’s AirspaceUptown Radio

This is a story about a potential helicopter ban proposed by New York City lawmakers. Listen now…

De Blasio Renews Calls To Ban Non-Essential Helicopter Flights In NYCWCBS News Radio

October 25, 2019 – Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday called for an end to all non-essential helicopter flights over Manhattan as he hinted that he was leaning towards phasing out all tourist flights in New York City. Read more…

Uber Copter Will Be A Disaster For The EnvironmentInverse

October 19, 2019 – Uber Copter is a service where New Yorkers can ride in a helicopter from Manhattan to JFK International Airport for about $200. That might sound pretty cool, especially if you’re rich and can actually afford that fare, but it’s really bad news if you’re worried about climate change. Read more…

Passenger alcohol use and ‘shoe selfies’ may have played role in deadly FlyNYON photo flight – Vertical Mag

September 27, 2019 – The passenger who appears to have inadvertently cut off fuel to the engine during a fatal FlyNYON doors-off helicopter flight was under the influence of alcohol at the time, newly released documents reveal. The documents also confirm previous reports that, in the moments before the aircraft plunged toward New York City’s East River, he had been working feverishly to obtain “shoe selfies” — the company’s oft-touted photographic souvenirs from the flights — and that activity likely contributed to the eventual crash. Read more…

Marine Park residents frustrated with helicopters flying over communityNews12 Brooklyn

August 4, 2019 – A concerned Brooklyn resident called into News 12‘s Ask the Borough President Show about a heavy helicopter presence in her neighborhood. Read more…

Northeast Queens lawmakers call on FAA to make alternative North Shore Helicopter Route permanentQNS

August 2, 2019 – Two lawmakers are calling on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to make an alternative helicopter route permanent following its success in northeast Queens. Read more…

Federal DOT probe into “doors-off” helicopters set to launch as Schumer, Gillibrand laud investigation of dangerous sightseeing flightsNY Daily News

July 18, 2019 – Federal auditors will probe the Federal Aviation Administration’s oversight of “doors-off” tourist helicopters like the one that left five passengers dead in an East River crash last year. Read more…

That Noise? It’s the 1%, Helicoptering Over Your Traffic JamThe New York Times

August 1, 2019 – Helicopter service is blossoming across the New York region, showing how income inequality affects even the basic commute. Read more…

De Blasio and Chuck Schumer call for increased helicopter regulations after last week’s crash – 6sqft

June 17, 2019 – Following the deadly crash of a helicopter in midtown last Monday, lawmakers are calling for greater oversight on helicopters flying over the city, the New York Post reported. “I think we need a full ban on any helicopters going over Manhattan itself,” Mayor de Blasio said on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show last Friday, noting that “exemptions should be made for emergency responders, first responders, uniform services,” and news cameras. Read more…

(Photo by Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

What Would a New York City Ban on Helicopters Look Like?The Points Guy

July 11, 2019 – Within hours of a dramatic helicopter crash that left the pilot dead atop a skyscraper in Midtown Manhattan, there were calls for helicopter to be banned from flying over New York City. “It’s a tragedy that keeps happening and an even greater tragedy that’s waiting to happen,” said John Dellaportas, president of Stop the Chop NYNJ, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending helicopter traffic over and around the city. “There is no excuse on God’s green Earth why any nonessential helicopters should be flying anywhere in the New York City metropolitan area, over buildings, over land, over water.” Read more…

In 1977, Five Were Killed In Helicopter Accident Atop Midtown’s Pan Am BuildingGothamist

June 11, 2019 – There are three ways to get from Manhattan to the city’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. All of them are pretty bad. Read more…

Pilot Killed After Helicopter Crash Lands On Top Of Midtown BuildingWCBS Radio

June 10, 2019 – A helicopter flying through heavy rain in restricted airspace caught fire after crash landing on the roof of a high-rise building in Midtown Manhattan, killing the pilot and forcing the evacuation of the 54-story skyscraper on Monday. Read more…

Uber Copter Will Only Make New York Transit WorseCityLab

June 7, 2019 – There are three ways to get from Manhattan to the city’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. All of them are pretty bad. Read more…

Hudson River crash renews helicopter safety concernsNews 12 New Jersey

May 16, 2019 – A crash landing of a helicopter in the Hudson River Wednesday has reignited concerns about helicopter safety along the waterfront. Read more…

An aircraft used by Blade, the ‘Uber for helicopters,’ crashed in the Hudson RiverThe Verge

May 15, 2019 – A Blade helicopter crashed into Hudson River near the West 30th Street Heliport after missing the landing pad. The only passenger was the pilot who was able to escape. Video. Read more…

FlyNYON changes equipment, but not business model, after fatal accident – Vertical Mag

September 6, 2018 – When five FlyNYON passengers on a doors-off helicopter photo flight drowned in New York City’s East River earlier this year, many of us in the helicopter industry reacted with shock and disbelief. Read more…

Inside the Safety Issues Surrounding the NY Helicopter CrashWired

April 8, 2018 – I was a passenger onboard a companion flight on March 11. Locked to the downed craft, the victims didn’t stand a chance. Read more…

FlyNYON knew of safety concerns before fatal doors-off flightVertical Mag

April 7, 2018 – Weeks before the recent fatal helicopter crash in New York City’s East River, FlyNYON was warned of safety issues with the harnesses and emergency cutters it was providing to passengers on its “doors-off” photo flights, internal company emails show. Read more…

Helicopter pilot says loose gear may have hit lever to cut off engine, causing deadly East River crash – NY Daily News

March 12, 2018 – The pilot of the doomed sightseeing helicopter that crashed into the East River told investigators that a lever to shut off the engine may have been accidentally pulled in midair, police sources said. Read more…

Helicopter bosses’ shady pasts revealed – NY Post

March 14, 2019 – The chief pilot for the company whose helicopter crashed Sunday in the East River — killing all five passengers — spent more than eight years behind bars for repeatedly stabbing a woman during a Long Island robbery, The Post has learned. Read more…

Nadler Talks Neighborhood History, Helicopters and Housing in Wide-Ranging InterviewWest Side Rag

February 13, 2019 – Congressman Jerry Nadler has been a ‘West Sider’ since 1965, when he turned down a full scholarship to Yale to attend Columbia. Read more…

Thank you, Jerrold Nadler (and Carolyn Maloney and Nydia M. Velazquez and…)James Armstrong’s Blog

August 10, 2018 – For years now, I have complained about the helicopters that fly over Central Park, especially the ones that love to hover right over the Delacorte Theater during performances of free outdoor plays. If ever there was a case of rich jerks ruining New York City for tons of ordinary citizens, it is these helicopters that sometimes make plays inaudible for hundreds of people, all so some millionaire can look down on the rest of us–literally. Read more…

NYC Lawmakers Request FAA Institute Restrictions on Helicopter Flights Over Shakespeare in the Park Festival – Press Release

August 10, 2018 – Today, New York City Members of Congress, led by Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), who represents the Upper West Side of Manhattan – including Central Park – and parts of Brooklyn, sent a letter to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Acting Administrator Daniel K. Elwell demanding the FAA institute Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR) during outdoor performances of The Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park Festival.  Read more…

Helicopters are ruining Shakespeare in the Park: theater officialsNY Post

August 10, 2018 – Rep. Jerrold Nadler and officials from the Public Theater pleaded Friday for the FAA to divert helicopter traffic from Central Park because the noise keeps interrupting Shakespeare in the Park, which is currently staging “Twelfth Night.” Read more…

The Life and Death of Helicopter Commuting (Video)Bloomberg Business Week

August 10, 2017 – Fifty years ago, a helicopter company called New York Airways whisked passengers from the rooftop of the iconic Pan Am Building in midtown Manhattan to any city airport in just 10 minutes. A fatal accident in 1977 brought that era to an end. Watch…

What the hel(iport)? Operator to pay $250K for illegal tourist flightsAMNY

August 3, 2017 – The operator of the W. 30th St. heliport has agreed to pay $250,000 to the Hudson River Park Trust after local activists charged that the chopper landing-pad operator had violated a ban on tourist flights. Read more…

A Plague of Helicopters Is Ruining New YorkNew York Times

January 30, 2016 – IN recent years, New York City has invested over $2 billion in spectacular new waterfront parks. But that investment, and New Yorkers’ enjoyment of their parks and neighborhoods, is being ruined by an invasion of noisy, polluting tourist helicopters. Read more…

Man who bribed FBI agent behind push to keep tourists flying over NYC ​NY Post

October 18, 2015 – A nonprofit fighting a City Council proposal to ban tourist helicopters is backed by a New Jersey family that has a monopoly on the city’s chopper business and skeletons in its closet. Read more…

Bill Sponsored by NYC Councilmembers Menchaca, Chin & Rosenthal Takes Aim at Tourist Helicopters – Brooklyn Heights Blog

July 27, 2015 – Stroll the Brooklyn Heights Promenade and you can hear it day and night: the constant thwapping of tourist helicopters. Read more…

Ban tourist helicopters for a quieter city –  Crain’s

July 24, 2015 – For years, residents have experienced the relentless drone of helicopter flights—at home, walking on the street, and in our parks. Read more…

Whitestone resident develops website for local helicopter noise complaintsQNS

June 25, 2015 – A Whitestone resident is taking the issue of overhead helicopter noise into the hands of the community by developing a website for residents to digitally submit complaints. Read more…

De Blasio’s door is open to lobbyists NY Post

June 9, 2015 – Mayor de Blasio has met personally with a dozen lobbyists so far this year — most of them campaign supporters and just two shy of the 14 he huddled with in all of 2014, records show. Read more…

This ‘Uber for helicopters’ startup just flew into a fight over noiseFortune

May 24, 2015 – Some New Yorkers have a great trick to beat Memorial Day traffic: They pull up an app to summon Blade, an Uber-style helicopter service that whisks passengers to posh destinations like the Hamptons. Read more…

Helicopters over NYC are terror weapons ‘waiting to happen’: watchdogNY Post

October 6, 2014 – Low-flying helicopters are sitting ducks that can easily be commandeered by terrorists posing as tourists or shot down from the ground by fanatics with rifles, a group opposing the flights charged Sunday. Read more…

Tourist Thrill Becomes a Residential NuisanceNY Press

February 17, 2015 – Residents are incensed by near-constant noise from tourist helicopters. Read more…

Noisy ferries, copters irk Battery Park City ResidentsCrain’s 

May 15, 2014 – Read about Congressman Nadler’s efforts to combat noise pollution, including helicopter noise in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Read more…

That Nuisance In The SkyThe New York Times

March 24, 2015 – Taking on New York City helicopters. Read more…

Community Board 12 Seeks to Curb Uptown Helicopter NoiseDNA Info

March 21, 2013 – Manhattan Community Board 12 took a step to curb excessive noise from sightseeing helicopters Tuesday, passing a resolution asking city and federal agencies to keep chopper flights in the center of the Hudson River. Read more…

Hell-icoptersNY Post

April 22, 2012 – How serious is lower Manhattan’s density of flights? Stefan Friedman, a spokesman for ERHC, dividing up the 62,000 annual flights, e-mailed, “That’s 57 flight per day for each of the three heliports. Assuming all three heliports are open 12 hours a day (West 30th Street is 24/7, but the number of flights coming in and out during the overnight hours are negligible), that breaks down to between four and five ‘ops’ (takeoffs or landings) per hour at each of the heliports.” Read more…

Governors Island Wants Low-Flying Helicopters to Fly Off DNA Info

December 1, 2011 – Low-flying helicopters are shattering the peace on Governors Island, park advocates and the National Park Service said Wednesday. Read more…

Passenger injured in New York helicopter crash diesThe Telegraph

October 13, 2011 – A New Zealand woman who was seriously injured when a helicopter carrying a group on a birthday celebration crashed into the East River has become the second person to die from the accident. Read more…

Hudson Crash Blamed on Controller, Failure to See and AvoidVertical Mag

September 14, 2010 – The United States National Transportation Safety Board has determined that an air traffic controller who was distracted by a personal phone call played a critical role in the 2009 crash of a small plane and a sightseeing helicopter over the Hudson River. Read more…

Three bodies recovered after midair collision over HudsonCNN

Five Italian tourists visiting New York from Bologna are among the nine victims believed killed Saturday in a midair collision of a sightseeing helicopter and a single-engine plane over the Hudson River, a law enforcement source said. Read more…

The Chopper-BlockerThe New York Times

March 2, 1997 – IN an apartment on a side street near the East River, a small dark-haired woman named Joy Held is getting, as she puts it, ”very, very angry.” Last September, she started flinching as the basso profundo rumble of helicopters flying over her East 65th Street apartment building grew louder, like a giant malevolent neighbor aiming stereo speakers at her walls. Read more…

ESCAPE BY COPTER FOILED AT U.S. JAIL IN MANHATTANThe New York Times

January 26, 1981 – An armed man and woman hijacked a sightseeing helicopter and flew to the Federal detention center in lower Manhattan yesterday morning in an unsuccessful attempt to pluck an inmate from a rooftop recreation area. Read more…