Hudson River crash was 'inevitable,' says colleague of dead copter pilot

Posted By: Staff
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New York, Aug.10 (ANI): Helicopter pilot Ben Lane mourns the loss of his friend and fellow chopper pilot Jeremy Clarke, whom he tried to warn moments before Clarke's chopper collided in with a private plane over the Hudson River.

Two days after the crash that claimed nine lives, including that of Clarke, Lane says that it was a mishap waiting to happen.

"We were borderline surprised that it took so long for a crash like this to happen," the New York Daily News quoted 34-year-old Lane, as saying.

As the body count pulled from the murky deep rose to seven Sunday, experts said Lane was right, and that the Federal Aviation Administration has failed to make the city skies safe.

"The FAA is going to come under a lot of fire for not managing the situation above the Hudson better," said ex-National Transportation Safety Board investigator Greg Feith.

Lane said his fellow chopper pilots try to remain safe by staying in constant radio contact.

Clarke had just lifted off when Lane - while refueling his chopper at the W. 30th St. heliport used by Liberty Helicopters - saw the plane that would strike the helicopter like a torpedo barreling down the Hudson.

"Jeremy, Jeremy, you have an airplane on your right side!" Lane yelled into the radio, but it was too late.

Divers pulled four more bodies from the Hudson Sunday, adding to the three found Saturday. Two of the bodies were inside the mangled wreckage of the chopper pulled from the river floor by an Army Corps of Engineers crane Sunday. (ANI)

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