ASN logo
ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 14207
Last updated: 3 December 2021
This information is added by users of ASN. Neither ASN nor the Flight Safety Foundation are responsible for the completeness or correctness of this information. If you feel this information is incomplete or incorrect, you can submit corrected information.

Date:16-MAY-1977
Time:17:35 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic S61 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Sikorsky S-61L-II
Owner/operator:New York Airways
Registration: N619PA
MSN: 61427
Fatalities:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 25
Other fatalities:1
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Category:Accident
Location:Pan Am Heliport, New York, NY -   United States of America
Phase: Standing
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:New York/Pan Am Heliport
Destination airport:New York/JFK
Investigating agency: NTSB
Narrative:
The right landing gear of a New York Airways Sikorsky S-61L helicopter, N619PA, failed while the aircraft was parked, with rotors turning, on the rooftop heliport of the Pan Am Building in New York, New York. The aircraft rolled over on its right side and was substantially damaged. Four passengers had boarded the aircraft and other passengers were in the process of boarding. The passengers and the three crewmembers onboard received either minor or no injuries; however, four passengers who were still outside the aircraft and were waiting to board were killed and one was seriously injured. One pedestrian on the corner of Madison Avenue and 43rd Street was killed and another was seriously injured when they were struck by a separated portion of one of the main rotor blades of the aircraft.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the accident was the fatigue failure of the upper right forward fitting of the right main landing gear tube assembly.
Fatigue originated from a small surface pit of undetermined source. All fatalities were caused by the operating rotor blades as a result of the collapse of the landing gear.

Sources:

http://www.airdisaster.com/reports/ntsb/AAR77-09.pdf
https://www.ntsb.gov/aviationquery/brief.aspx?ev_id=57237&key=0
https://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/16/may-16-1977-helicopter-accident-on-top-of-pan-am-building-kills-five/
Netherlands national archive, UPI pressphoto of the crash scene: http://proxy.handle.net/10648/263b114f-cad0-49b6-c657-d6733b514a36

Accident investigation:
cover
  
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration:
Download report: Final report


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
25-Feb-2008 12:00 ASN archive Added
21-Sep-2009 11:47 Anon. Updated
26-Sep-2009 01:42 Anon. Updated
28-Dec-2009 12:38 TB Updated [Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport]
30-Dec-2009 11:55 TB Updated [Aircraft type]
16-May-2012 07:29 gerard57 Updated [Other fatalities, Source, Narrative]
20-Dec-2012 13:02 TB Updated [Location, Source, Narrative]
21-Dec-2012 09:20 TB Updated [Time, Source, Narrative]
24-Aug-2014 15:38 TB Updated [Narrative]
16-Feb-2020 11:33 harro Updated [Narrative, Accident report, ]
29-Dec-2020 18:37 hoekb03 Updated [Source, Accident report]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description