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US aviation authorities review helicopter rules after crash

Mar 17. 2018
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By Agence France-Presse
New York

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The US Federal Aviation Administration said Friday it will review regulations for "doors off" helicopter flights -- popular with photographers -- following a crash that killed five people in New York City.

The FAA "will conduct a top-to-bottom review of its rules governing these flights to examine any potential misapplication that could create safety gaps for passengers," it said.

Helicopter flights with the doors open provide passengers with a more direct view of the skyline than flights with the aircraft's doors shut.

For now, the FAA has banned "doors off" flights that use restraints that cannot be easily released, which apparently played a significant role in the deaths of five passengers when a Eurocopter AS350 crashed into the East River on Sunday.

Only the pilot survived the crash of the helicopter, which was operated by tourism group Liberty.

Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said that while the pilot was able to free himself, the passengers were "all tied tightly in harnesses that had to be cut and removed."

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