Earlier this week, 5 passengers died on a doors-off helicopter tour of New York City. They didn’t die from the crash landing in the Hudson though, they died from drowning because they couldn’t free themselves from the harnesses used on doors-off tours. Only the pilot survived, the rest of the passengers had to be cut out of their harnesses by emergency responders. It’s the stuff that nightmares are made of.
DDF member “Something Fishy” is currently hanging out with the polar bears and a dozen DansDeals readers and DDF members. He flew with the same tour company, NYOnair, on a doors-off helicopter ride last year:
Having some fun with a #ricohtheta 360° camera while hanging out of a helicopter above NYC. #flynyon #ricoh #theta #360 #what_i_saw_in_nyc #instanyc #instagramnyc #ig_nycity #nyonair #topnewyorkphoto #nyloveyou #birdseyeview #viewfromthetop #wow_newyourk #beautifuldestinations #bhphoto #helicopterride #theta360 #theta360official #lifeis360 #360camera #wonderful_places
He said that he had the time of his life, but confirmed that they never once explained where the knife was located that could be used to escape from the harness in case of an emergency.
I’ve gone on breathtaking helicopter tours in Kauai and Iguaçu Falls, though never with the doors off:
I always regretted not choosing a helicopter with the doors off as the pictures come out much nicer. I almost went to the Big Island to go on a doors-off volcano tour on my recent trip to Hawaii, but bailed because the tours were already fully booked. I no longer regret missing out after this week’s accident though.
The FAA acted quickly and has now banned doors-off tours until they have harnesses that can be released quickly in case of emergency. It’s a shame that a common sense regulation didn’t exist until now, but I’m glad to see one implemented so quickly.
Have you been on a doors-off helicopter tour?