Richard Vance has been named as the pilot who escaped a fatal helicopter crash in New York City’s East River Sunday.

Vance, 33, of Wallingford, Connecticut, was operating the doomed red helicopter when the crash occurred. According to sources, the aircraft flipped upside down in the water. All five passengers were pronounced dead.


According to the Federal Aviation Administration, Vance is a certified helicopter pilot and instructor. source

On Liberty’s website, it said a back injury kept Vance from flying fo the U.S. Army.

According to New York officials, the pilot was able to free himself and was rescued by a tugboat.

Investigators have not yet determined what caused the helicopter to crash.