Report: Feds strike deal for river airspace

A loophole has been revealed in New York helicopter safety laws that may be putting lives at risk, according to a report in the New York Post yesterday.
 
After a small plane slammed into a tourist helicopter in 2009 on Manhattan’s West Side, killing nine people in a fiery crash, the Federal Aviation Administration restricted airspace above the Hudson River.

The airspace between 1,000 and 1,300 feet was accessible only to private planes, the FAA decreed, hoping to avoid future midair collisions.

But a loophole was created a year later, the New York Post reported yesterday, when the FAA allowed tour helicopters to enter at two separate places within that airspace.

The news comes on the heels of a helicopter crash last week, which killed one woman. Local officials have criticized the tourist choppers, saying they clog the skies with frivolous, and potentially dangerous, sightseeing flights.

Now, tour choppers can climb above 1,000 feet by entering through corridors at the Statue of Liberty and the Boat Basin on West 79th Street.

The newspaper reported that a “letter of agreement” was signed between five chopper tour companies and two FAA officials.

Jeffery Smith, chairman of the Eastern Region Helicopter Council, told the Post that higher choppers are less of a headache to residents complaining about noise.

Chopper loophole angers pilots

Both FAA bigwigs and private pilots in Manhattan are furious over the newly revealed loophole.
“You have hundreds of helicopters flying up and down through that airspace, and nobody knows about it,” Manhattan pilot Ken Paskar told the Post. “It’s insane.”

Private plane pilots have not even been warned about the oncoming choppers, according to the report.

Follow Alison Bowen on Twitter @AlisonatMetro.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.

NBA

Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.