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Pilot survives terrifying helicopter crash into Hudson River

Posted: 4:13 PM, May 15, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-15 16:13:11-04

(CNN) — A pilot was pulled from the Hudson River after a helicopter crashed in the water near where the Lincoln Tunnel comes into Manhattan, authorities said.

The pilot was the only person aboard the helicopter and was rescued by the New York Police Department’s Aviation and Harbor unit, according to a law enforcement official with knowledge of the rescue.

The pilot is expected to be OK, the source added. He refused treatment from emergency responders, as did a worker on land who was hit by debris, a fire department source said.

Ashton Byrd was walking with a friend when he saw the helicopter going down, and managed to capture it on video.

The footage shows the aircraft descending toward the water with its nose down and its rotors moving. The helicopter appears to level out and water sprays as the craft goes down.

“It was the craziest thing I’ve ever seen,” Byrd said.

The pilot was there to pick up passengers at the VIP Heliport, Nick Rotondi, a senior vice president at the Hudson River Park Trust, said.

The helicopter was a Bell 206, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Jim Peters said. The crashed occurred about 2:30 p.m. ET, he added.