Posted by: gmontealegre | October 5, 2011



New York, NY (Oct 4, 2011) –  Linden’s Municipal Airport Director Paul Dudley survived a tragic helicopter accident yesterday when the helicopter he was piloting failed to lift off from New York’s 34th Street Heliport.

According to reports, Dudley called for help immediately after take off. OEM and NYPD responded to the scene almost immediately as two officers were driving by the location on their way to a bomb threat in upper Manhattan.  The quick response of the first responders saved the lives of most of the passengers. One woman died when she was trapped in the back seat of the helicopter.


Dudley and three others were pulled out of the waters by NYPD Police divers who responded to the scene in less than ten minutes swimming to the victims without wet suits and only flotation devices until other help arrived.


Frank McCarton, OEM, and Wess DosKocil, OEM Field Responder, radioed others about current conditions and the number of people affected. They said when they arrived at the scene, the pilot and a passenger were hanging onto the wreckage of the helicopter and three others were submerged. The aircraft then went under and the rescue and recovery became extremely difficult.

The woman who died was part of the same group and was in New York City celebrating her 40th birthday with her partner and her parents.

Dudley and the others were taken to Bellevue Hospital where they are recuperating. In the meantime the National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the accident and is estimated it will take them a year to find out exactly what happened. During a press confernce today, Mark Roseking said the chopper has been taken to Brooklyn and they will be looking a three things, witness accounts, the chopper (including service records), and the environment (to see if wind had an effect).  He said this was a private trip and air traffic controllers were not involved.

Link to a previous report on Paul Dudley advocating against plans to build an airport in Kearny.


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