What to Know
- The company that chartered the deadly “doors-off” helicopter that crashed into the East River last year is now flying dogs, Schumer said
- Five people died when a helicopter chartered for the day by FlyNYON crashed into the river. They couldn't escape from their harnesses
- Schumer is now calling on FlyNYON to stop allowing dogs on its flights
The company that chartered the “doors-off” helicopter that crashed into the East River last year, killing its five passengers, is allowing dogs on its flights, Sen. Chuck Schumer said Sunday.
The company, FlyNYON, is “flying dogs high above New York, offering thrill-seekers the chance to dangle their feet — and their pet — above city buildings, bridges, waters and more,” Schumer said in a release.
The politician, along with Sen. Bob Menendez, PETA and the Humane Society of the United States, called on FlyNYON to stop allowing dogs on its flights.
He also asked the Federal Aviation Administration to investigate a “loophole allowing doors-off [flights] to remain operational in the first place.”
“It is outrageous that despite the death of five innocent people in a dangerous doors-off chopper flight and two active federal investigations into lapsed safety that FlyNYON is still operating those same flights at desperate discounts,” Schumer said in a statement.
“But now, it is a sheer jaw-drop to know that the same company is strapping in dogs for people to snap pictures of while the animals all but dangle high above New York skies, experiencing the sound of the rotors and who knows what other cruel things,” he added.
In a statement on Sunday, FlyNYON’s spokesperson didn’t directly address Schumer’s statements about the company allowing dogs on its flights.
“FlyNYON is fully compliant with all FAA operating and safety standards,” the spokesperson said. “We appreciate and stand ready to support smart actions that allow for enhanced helicopter safety in New York and New Jersey.”
“We invite both Senators Schumer and Menendez on Monday to our office to discuss this very important matter,” the spokesperson added.