5 dead after New York City helicopter crash

A red Eurocopter AS350 helicopter that crashed into Manhattan's East River had been privately chartered for a photo shoot, authorities said.
4:16 | 03/12/18

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Transcript for 5 dead after New York City helicopter crash
she has all her teeth grown in. I'd never get invited. The deadly helicopter crash in New York. That is a live shot of the scene right now. The helicopter underneath those yellow pontoons. In the east river. Happened around 7:00 P.M. Last night. A tourist chopper landed right there. Flipped over in the east river. The pilot managed to escape. All five passengers on board were killed. Reporter: Hey, George. Good morning to you. The helicopter krshed right behind me here in the east river. It just sank so quickly. Rescuers desperately tried to them people inside. The midair emergency captured on camera. The pilot radioing for help. Zero Lima hotel. Mayday, mayday, mayday. I'm sorry. East river. Engine failure. You're coming in broken. Say one more time. It was a mayday call, Laguardia. Reporter: The aircraft flips over. We're all still really shaken about it. There were a lot of screams. It was just -- just really horrifying. Reporter: The pilot, identified as 33-year-old Richard Vance manages to free himself and scream for help from a flotation device. A fire boat brought him to shore. Marine 6 does have one diver in the water. Reporter: The five passengers were harnessed in so tightly divers struggled to get them out. Harnesses were in place so passengers could take pictures with the doors open. It took awhile for the divers to get these people out. They worked very kickly. As fast as they could. Two died at the scene. Three later at the hospital. Moments before the crash, photos of the helicopter. Arina tells me she wassing dinner a high-rise when she saw the crash happen. It headed toward the water at full speed. It slowed down. Hit the water fairly gently. But then, within seconds, you started seeing it submerge. Reporter: The helicopter was operated by the tour company liberty helicopters. The website claims it's been nighing safely for over 30 years. FAA records show two dents, one in 2009 with an airplane resulting in nine deaths. The NTSB blamed that crash on many factors, not just the helicopter pilot. We're told that the pilot is okay. He's speaking with investigators. The NTSB is investigating. They'll make a final ruling. Right now, officials believe this was just an accident, George. Thank you, gio. Let's bring in our aviation expert, Steve ganyard for more. What do you see happening here? A single engine helicopter, when it loses its engine can actually collide. It uses the energy left over in the roerts and can glide to a safe landing. The pilot does a good job getting the helicopter safely into the water. It's a fairly controlled crash. What happened afterwards, when it hits the the cold water and flips, that's where the tragedy occurs. You're saying if this were a different type time of year, it may have been survivable. I think so. If it were July, when the water was warm, that would have been survivable. At the time of the mishap, the water was 39. That's the temperature your refrigerator is at. The shock of the cold, the unexpected crash. Can be debilitating. People have a four-point harness that they probably never used before. They don't know how to get out of it. You hit the water, it starts rushing in. That's a harness military pilots would be trained to get out of. One of the reasons the pilot was able to get out perhaps? Exactly. The Navy and Marine Corps, you're trained, you're put in a helo Dunker. A machine that takes you underwater and flips you jup side down. It has saved countless lives. These poor civilians encountered something very, very difficult. Thank you, Steve. Now to the powerful winter storm.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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