New York City, NY Helicopter Crash, Oct 1986


New York (AP) -- A radio station's traffic helicopter crashed into the Hudson River on Wednesday as the reporter aboard frantically screamed "Hit the water!" in a live broadcast. The female reporter was killed and the pilot was in critical condition Wednesday night.
The WNBC helicopter crashed about 3:45 p.m. Chicago time in the Hudson River near the USS Intrepid, a permanently docked aircraft carrier and Naval museum, said John Mulligan, a fire department spokesman.
Firefighters and police divers were sent to the scene, found the sunken helicopter and removed traffic reporter JANE DORNACKER and the pilot, BILL PATE.
Firefighters administered mouth-to-mouth and cardio-pulminary resuscitation and managed to revive PATE but not DORNACKER, Capt. Brian O'Flaherty said.
DORNACKER died about 7:20 p.m. Chicago time at St. Vincent's Hospital without regaining consciousness, a spokesman said. The preliminary cause of death was listed as drowning.
PATE was treated for a heart attack and unspecified internal injuries at Bellevue Hospital and was listed in critical condition, the spokesman said. It was not known if the heart attack caused or contributed to the accident or it was the result of stress during the crash.
The cause of the crash was being investigated.
It was the second time this year that DORNACKER, 40, who joined the station in November 1985, had gone down in a craft owned by Spectrum Helicopters of Ridgefield Park, N.J. On April 18, her helicopter crashed into the Hackensack River in suburban New Jersey.
Gene Garnes, an engineer who worked with DORNACKER at WNBC, said her colleagues were "pretty much in shock" after they got news of her death. "There's a lot of crying going on. People are in disbelief."

Daily Herald Chicago Illinois 1986-10-23