Statement from StopTheChop on East River helicopter crash

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New York, March 12, 2018 — Press release

Stop the Chop NYNJ extends its deepest condolences to the loved ones of the five latest victims of the Mayor’s corruption and the deadly tourist helicopter crash.  The latest media reports raise only more questions which must be answered before helicopter flights can resume.  Thus, we were deeply troubled to learn that helicopter tours at Downtown Manhattan Heliport continue today unabated by last night’s tragedy.

As shown below, deadly tour helicopter crashes are no “black swan” event.  They happen all the time in area waters and elsewhere.  Yet according to this morning’s NY Times report, the only safety precaution the tour operators have made is to give each passenger a knife to cut himself or herself out of the helicopter while it sinks to the bottom of the river!  Obviously, this does not work.  Rather, it raises a whole host of additional safety issues.  

These flights are not regulated by TSA, and there are no passenger background checks.  The pilots are all within reach of the passengers during the flights, which pass within a few feet of major NYC landmarks.  And today we learned that every passenger is given a knife!  Did the NYPD approve of this plan for knife-wielding passengers?  What about the TSA?  The FTA?  The Secret Service?  The lunacy of the City allowing this reckless operation, all because the Mayor got some cash, is beyond belief.

Stop the Chop NYNJ calls on our elected officials to immediately shut down these flights once and for all, before more innocent people die.  

Lastly, for those who have tried to reach our web site (, please note that our site has gotten so many hits that it apparently crashed our server.  We are working to bring it back up as soon as possible.  


  • March 11, 2017:  Sightseeing Liberty Tours flight crashes into East River; all five passengers drown.
  • July 1, 2013: Sightseeing chopper plunges into Hudson River twenty second after power cuts out; all passengers rescued by nearby boats.
  • Oct. 4, 2011: Sightseeing chopper plunges into East River from excess weight; two tourists from New Zealand on birthday celebration drown, trapped in wreckage of sinking helicopter.
  • Aug. 8, 2009: Liberty Helicopters sightseeing chopper flying too high collides with a private plane over the Hudson River, killing nine people, including five Italian tourists and three children.
  • July 7, 2007: Liberty Helicopters sightseeing chopper carrying eight drops 500 feet into the Hudson, but an off-duty EMT aboard helps everyone escape.
  • June 14, 2005: A Bell 206L LongRanger carrying six foreign tourists dumps into the East River after takeoff from Downtown Manhattan Heliport. One person is seriously injured.
  • New Year’s Eve, 1997: Liberty Helicopters sightseeing chopper crashes into side of building near West 30th Street. Eight people on board are injured. 

Stop the Chop NYNJ, Inc.
John Dellaportas, President


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