Bell 206L, New York, June 14, 2005–Bell 206L N78TD was substantially damaged when it crashed in the East River during takeoff from the Port Authority Downtown Manhattan/Wall Street Heliport. The commercial pilot and five passengers sustained minor injuries, while one passenger was seriously injured. VMC prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local commercial sightseeing flight conducted under Part 91.
The helicopter lifted off to a hover and performed an approximate 90-degree left turn, then an approximate 270-degree right turn and began a southeasterly climb over the heliport. At the end of the heliport, the helicopter descended into water and rolled inverted.
The pilot’s power twist-grip control was found in the full-power position. Power-control continuity and flight-control continuity were confirmed. Fuel recovered from the airframe fuel filter was bright, clear and yellow. Some sediment was noted at the bottom of the sample container.