11 JUN 2019: A helicopter crashed into the roof of a midtown skyscraper Monday afternoon, killing the pilot. No one else was on board when the crash occurred at around 1:45 p.m. Authorities said it took off from a Manhattan helipad and was in the air for about 11 minutes before it crashed  on the roof of the 54-story AXA Equitable Center on Seventh Ave. at W. 51st St. and isn't far from Rockefeller Center and Times Square.

Smoke was seen billowing from the roof of the 54-story structure which is also home to Le Bernardin restaurant.

The airport manager at the helicopter's home base in Linden, New Jersey confirmed Tim McCormack, who was a firefighter, was the pilot. Paul Dudley from the airport told the New York Times that McCormack was hired to fly for the helicopter's owner, Daniele Bodini, who he said commuted between the city and upstate New York.

The Agusta A109E helicopter was privately-owned by American Continental Properties, which said McCormack had flown for them for the past five years.

McCormack  had been waiting out the bad weather but ultimately decided to fly the 19-year-old aircraft, and may have been heading to its home airport, which is southeast of the city, taking a route around the southern tip of Manhattan where Battery Park City is located before veering toward midtown somewhere between 40th and 49th streets - Manhattan airspace that is supposed to be off limits for security reasons.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters that a fire began when the aircraft hit, but the fire was under control. He said the impact shook the building but there were no reports of injuries of people in the tower.

Cuomo said that there is "no indication" that the incident was intentional. "If you are a New Yorker you have a level of PTSD from 9/11. As soon as you hear an aircraft hit a building, my mind goes where the mind of every New Yorker goes," Cuomo said. O'Neill said the aircraft was used for executive travel.

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