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Tourist Helicopter Makes Emergency Hudson Landing; All Safe

A sightseeing helicopter carrying four passengers made an emergency landing in New York’s Hudson River near 79th Street around noon today, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said.

All on board the Bell 206 were rescued and are uninjured, according to local authorities, FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said in an e-mailed statement. The helicopter, registered to New York Helicopter Charter Inc., was lifted onto a tugboat with a crane and moved to the Wall Street Heliport, she said.

The New York Fire Department said it received a call at around 11:58 a.m. about the incident, and that the helicopter had dropped from an unknown height after experiencing engine trouble. Good Samaritans from a nearby boat and a jet ski helped the passengers to safety, FDNY firefighter and spokesman Daniel Glover said by telephone.

The passengers, a family of four, were taken to St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center as a precaution, while the pilot refused further medical attention, Glover said. Their names weren’t released.

“The pilot made a precautionary, emergency landing,” said New York Helicopter Charter owner Mike Roth in phone interview. “Everybody is fine and everybody has gone home.”

The helicopter-tour operator offers sightseeing flights beginning at $139 for a 15-minute “Liberty Tour,” according to its website.

Both the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the incident, Bergen said.

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