Pilot in New York chopper crash not certified for bad weather

NEW YORK : The helicopter pilot killed when his chopper crash-landed atop a midtown Manhattan skyscraper in showers and fog was not licensed to fly the aircraft in bad weather, the Federal Aviation Administration said on Tuesday.

Tim McCormack, the pilot, was the only person aboard when the helicopter slammed onto the roof of the 50-story office tower on Monday afternoon with enough force to jolt employees of the finance and law firms housed on the floors below.

The chopper burst into flames on impact, unleashing a plume of smoke from the top of the high-rise that stirred memories of the two airliners flown by hijackers into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

McCormack was flying over one of the nation’s densest urban districts through rain and low clouds despite not being “instrument rated,” meaning he was not licensed to use the onboard systems to navigate the aircraft in limited visibility, the FAA said.