• Amateur video appears to show the helicopter which crashed into a New York skyscraper on Monday not long before it went down.
  • The footage shows an Augusta A109E dramatically losing altitude in bad weather over the East River.
  • A helicopter matching its description crashed-landed on the AXA Equitable building at 51st St and 7th Avenue around 1:45 p.m. local time.
  • Pilot Tim McCormack, the only person on board, was killed in the crash. There were no other casualties.
  • For more stories, go to www.businessinsider.co.za.

Bystander footage appears to show the helicopter which crashed ito a New York skyscraper on Monday flying erratically and making a steep dive shortly before it came down.

The footage, taken by New Yorker Wendy Slater and republished by several local news channels, shows what appears to be the Augusta A109E helicopter struggling to stay level in bad weather over the East River.

The helicopter can be seen struggling to maintain balance. It suddenly dives towards the river, then pulls up before heading north.

At 1:45 p.m., not long after Slater stopped filming, a helicopter crashed into the 229-meter AXA Equitable building on 51st and 7th Avenue.

The helicopter pointing directly down over New York's East River on Monday.
Twitter/WhatWendySees

Slater called in to CW affiliate PIX11 News moments after the crash.

"He was going high, and flying sideways, and diving, and it was just crazy," she said.

"I assumed he was going to crash at any moment."

Late on Monday Fire Department New York posted images of the crash site to Twitter.

58-year-old pilot Tim McCormack - who had 15 years flying experience - was the only victim. There were no other reported injuries.

New York Police Department commissioner Jim O'Neill said at a press conference on Monday McCormack had taken off in the privately owned helicopter from the 34th Street Helipad at 1:32 p.m. en route to Linden, New Jersey.

He crashed at 1:45 p.m.

Tim McCormack, the pilot who died in Monday's crash.
The Offical East Clinton Volunteer Fire Department

McCormack was also a volunteer firefighter for the East Clinton Fire Department, according to a tribute post by the department on Facebook.

"Chief McCormack was extremely respected by not only the members of the department, but throughout the Dutchess County fire service," they wrote. "Rest in Peace Brother."

In a statement on Monday evening outside the AXA Equitable building, FDNY lieutenant Adrienne Walsh told the media:

"We went to the 51st floor and took stairs to the roof. We saw a debris field that was on fire, with the fire contained to the roof. Unfortunately there was one casualty."

FDNY Chief of Fire Operations Thomas Richardson said: "We arrived on the scene within five minutes, and most of the fire was extinguished within a half hour."

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