On Tuesday, October 4, Sonia Marra Nicholson was visiting NY to celebrate her 40th birthday with a helicopter tour of NYC with her partner Helen Tamaski, her mother Harriet Nicholson and her stepfather Paul Nicholson. They were picked up at the helipad at East 34th Street by their pilot, Paul Dudley. After lift-off, the helicopter begun to spin out of control and plunged into NYC’s East River. The pilot had attempted to turn it around and land when he started to lose control. He missed landing by about 40 feet resulting in the chopper flipping over and sinking within just a few minutes at about 3:20pm.
Ten boats from the New York police and fire departments and the Coast Guard conducted the search. Sonia Nicholson’s parents and partner were rescued and are in stable condition. Sonia was recovered almost two hours after the crash and was pronounced dead. Mayor Bloomberg commented on the crash saying that, “a quicker response could not have happened and it wouldn’t have made any difference.” As a Wyvern authorized broker, Magellan Jets is a leader in aviation safety. All helicopter trips booked with Magellan Jets are only executed if all safety standards are met. Helicopter trips are required to have two pilots, PASS reports completed, and twin engines used when possible.