Michael Campbell, a Buffalo native and University at Buffalo graduate, was the helicopter pilot who safely landed a charter tourist helicopter in the Hudson River in New York City about noon Sunday, saving himself and four Swedish vacationers.
Campbell deployed pontoons when the chopper lost power near 79th Street, near the New York City Marina. The helicopter had a hard landing but it did not sink.
The accident happened close to where United Flight 1549 emergency landed after a bird strike four years ago.
According to the New York Fire Department, the charter took off from the Wall Street Heliport and lost power about 12 minutes into the flight. A Fire Department official said Campbell “did a terrific job, considering he’d lost his engine power.”
A boat crew brought Campbell and his passengers – two adults and two children – to shore.
The tourists were all taken to the hospital for observation after the incident. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the helicopter is registered to New York Helicopter, which charges $139 per person for a 15-minute flight and $295 per person for a 25-minute flight.
The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the incident.