Marshfield High School Music Department Present in NYC During Helicopter Crash

A New York City firefighter responds to the scene where a helicopter crash-landed on the roof of a midtown Manhattan skyscraper, Monday, June 10, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Students Performed in NYC

Marshfield, WI (OnFocus) Members of the Marshfield High School music department were in New York City at the time of a helicopter crash on a Manhattan skyscraper Monday.

The 58-year-old pilot, Tim McCormack, died in the crash. The incident appears to have been caused by the poor weather conditions as he attempted to navigate through rain and fog.

The 166 choir, band, and orchestra students plus chaperones and teachers were traveling on buses between activities and heard about the incident shortly after 2 p.m.

“We heard about the incident at first because my mother, who lives Marshfield, saw it on the news and was concerned so she called my daughter Emilie and I,” said Jennifer Koran, a parent chaperone on the trip. “We had no idea anything had happened although we were seeing several emergency vehicles trying to get through traffic.”

The buses were near the Intrepid Sea, Air and Museum on the river at the time, a few blocks away from the AXA Equitable building on Seventh Avenue where the crash took place.

“We had visited the 9/11 Memorial and Museum earlier that day so I know I had my own fear of what was happening. But the news we could get was very reassuring that it was NOT terrorist related and simply a terrible accident,” said Koran, who stressed that the students were never in any danger and the only impact on the trip was diverted traffic. A heavy police presence remained through the afternoon and evening.

The investigation into the crash remains ongoing. McCormack had 15 years of experience as a helicopter pilot and became lost while attempting to fly through the rain, according to radio transmissions.

“The pilot was having difficulty and knew he needed to put it down and looked for a spot that would hopefully be the least impactful,” she said. “Very sad, but I think he’s kind of a hero…could’ve been an even worse tragedy.”

Students left for New York City by bus on Friday morning and were returning home Wednesday. Among the stops on the jam-packed trip were the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Grand Central Station, Little Italy, Chinatown, Central Park, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Radio City Music Hall, Rockefeller Center, and the Intrepid Museum.

“The best part was watching our students perform with pride!” said Koran. “All in all, we had a great trip through Marshfield High School Music Department!