Tourist helicopter lands in Hudson River - KMSP-TV

Pilot hailed hero in helicopter river landing

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

A helicopter crash landed out in the middle of Hudson River Sunday afternoon, a minor miracle on the Hudson with fire, police and witnesses saying pilot did great job.

The incident happened around noon when the tour helicopter took off from the Wall Street heliport. 12 minutes into the flight, the pilot radioed that he was having engine trouble, according to FDNY Chief.

The engine then lost power with a family of four Swedish tourists on board. The pilot then crash landed in the middle of the Hudson River in sight of the 79th Street Boat Basin.

"He came in fast and low and just smacked right down into the water. It was just fortunate he (pilot) had the wherewithal to lift the nose before they finally dropped into the Hudson," said Stefan Capan, witness.

Just before the chopper hit the water the pilot deployed pontoons which kept the chopper aloft. Then tourists from Montreal used their dingy, a motorized rubber raft to rescue the pilot.

"We were in our boat and saw the helicopter go down, like we was about five minutes from the water and the floaters came out and landed quite hard," said Lambert De Mont, a rescuer from Montreal.  

Others on jet skis and boats rescued the Swedish family. Witnesses, police and fire officials say the pilot did a great job.

"The pilot did a terrific job considering he lost his engine power landed his ship safely," said Tom McKavangh FDNY.

So safely no one was injured. The pilot from NY Helicopter based in Linden, New Jersey was the model of cool and calm on land too.

"Just doing my job. It was an emergency in flight and I did what I had to do," said the pilot Mike Campbell.

Fire and police boats helped tow the Bell Jet Ranger helicopter into the 79th Street Boat Basin. It was loaded onto a boat and shipped away for review.

Authorities don't know exact cause of the landing just that the engine shut down. The landing really took nerves to bring crash land safely like Chesley Sullenberger.

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