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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 67817
Last updated: 20 October 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic AS50 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Eurocopter AS 350BA Ecureuil
Owner/operator:Liberty Helicopters
Registration: N401LH
MSN: 3059
Fatalities:Fatalities: 6 / Occupants: 6
Other fatalities:3
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Hudson River, near Frank Sinatra Park, Hoboken, NJ -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Nature:Passenger - Non-Scheduled/charter/Air Taxi
Departure airport:New York, NY (JRA)
Destination airport:New York, NY (JRA)
Investigating agency: NTSB
On August 8, 2009, at 1153:14 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-32R-300 airplane, N71MC, and a Eurocopter AS350BA helicopter, N401LH, operated by Liberty Helicopters, collided in midair over the Hudson River near Hoboken, New Jersey. The pilot and two passengers aboard the airplane and the pilot and five passengers aboard the helicopter were killed, and both aircraft received substantial damage from the impact. The airplane flight was operating under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91, and the helicopter flight was operating under the provisions of 14 CFR Parts 135 and 136. No flight plans were filed or were required for either flight, and visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident.
Probable Cause: (1) the inherent limitations of the see-and-avoid concept, which made it difficult for the airplane pilot to see the helicopter until the final seconds before the collision, and (2) the Teterboro Airport local controllerís nonpertinent telephone conversation, which distracted him from his air traffic control (ATC) duties, including correcting the airplane pilotís read back of the Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) tower frequency and the timely transfer of communications for the accident airplane to the EWR tower. Contributing to this accident were (1) both pilotsí ineffective use of available information from their aircraftís electronic traffic advisory system to maintain awareness of nearby aircraft, (2) inadequate Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) procedures for transfer of communications among ATC facilities near the Hudson River Class B exclusion area; and (3) FAA regulations that did not provide adequate vertical separation for aircraft operating in the Hudson River Class B exclusion area.

FAA register: 2. FAA:

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



Little did I know that three weeks later, this helicopter would be involved in a tragic mid-air collision. I took this picture on July 19, 2009. Copyright, 2009, Daniel L. Berek

Revision history:

08-Aug-2009 10:56 harro Added
08-Aug-2009 11:02 harro Updated
08-Aug-2009 11:56 harro Updated
08-Aug-2009 12:20 RobertMB Updated
08-Aug-2009 13:54 RobertMB Updated
08-Aug-2009 21:58 harro Updated
10-Aug-2009 11:46 harro Updated
14-Aug-2009 12:26 harro Updated
14-Dec-2013 19:19 Anon. Updated [Narrative, Photo, ]
25-Jul-2014 23:54 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Location, Nature, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
26-Jul-2014 00:01 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location, Source]
21-Dec-2016 19:25 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
22-Apr-2017 11:18 Iceman 29 Updated [Source]
02-Dec-2017 15:59 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
12-Mar-2018 20:57 Aerossurance Updated [Aircraft type, Location, Nature, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
16-Feb-2020 13:15 harro Updated [Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Source, Narrative, Accident report, ]
07-Sep-2021 17:37 Anon. Updated [Category]

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