A helicopter crashed into the Hudson River Wednesday afternoon shortly after taking off from a Manhattan heliport, authorities said.
The pilot, identified as Eric Morales, was repositioning his aircraft after refueling. He was flying over the water to get to where he typically picks up customers when the helicopter began to lose altitude for unknown reasons about 50 feet from the heliport.
The chopper crashed into the water just before 2:30 p.m. When it went down, flotation devices deployed to keep it above water. Morales, 34, was rescued by a passing NY Waterway ferry a short time later.
The FDNY said Morales was treated for a minor laceration to his hand, and an employee at the heliport was hurt by debris.
The helicopter is operated by ZIP Aviation, but had Blade Helicopters branding on the side. Blade, which runs short trips from Manhattan to local airports for $195 a seat, said in a statement that it does not own or operate the aircraft, and it was “not servicing a Blade mission at the time.”
Morales, who lives in Mendham, New Jersey, has been a pilot with ZIP since January 2019, according to a LinkedIn profile. Before that, he flew for Helicopter Adventures in Myrtle Beach for five months in 2018.
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