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What to Know

  • Sen. Chuck Schumer on Sunday said the company involved in the deadly East River chopper crash is still operating the same kind of flights

  • Five people died when a helicopter operated by FlyNYON crashed into the river. They were unable to free themselves from their harnesses

  • Schumer called on FlyNYON to suspend the flights until FAA and NTSB investigations are complete

The company that operated the “doors-off” helicopter that crashed into the East River in March, killing its five passengers, is still offering the same kind of flights at a discount despite the fact that its under federal investigation, Sen. Chuck Schumer said.

The five passengers drowned when they were unable to free themselves from their harnesses after a chopper operated by FlyNYON crashed into the water and rolled over on March 11.

FlyNYON is now offering a 40 percent “October sale” discount on “the exact same doors-off flights,” Schumer said on Sunday.

Both the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are still investigating these flights, he said.

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“For FlyNYON to offer a 40 percent discount on a doors-off flight when we still dont know 100 percent of what went wrong during the East River chopper crash should be alarming to the feds and fliers alike,” Schumer said in a statement.

“Moreover, the aggressive marketing campaign that uses social media and geo-tracking to hype up the flights and court consumers doesnt seem to alert potential customers to the current investigation or the risks involved,” he added.

A month after the deadly crash, the New York Times reported that pilots for FlyNYON had expressed concerns about the choppers harnesses, among other safety concerns, to management.

Schumer on Sunday called on FlyNYON to suspend the flights until the investigations are complete.

“Ive asked for this before, and to their credit and the FAAs, the company did the right thing and suspended those flights, but it would appear that months later an aggressive marketing campaign to sell the same doors-off flights could fly under the radar, and that should not happen,” he said.

NBC 4 New York has reached out to FlyNYON for comment.

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NBC