Helicopter crashes on roof of NYC highrise, killing pilot

NEW YORK — A helicopter crashed on the roof of a rain-shrouded midtown Manhattan skyscraper Monday, killing the pilot and briefly triggering memories of 9/11, after an erratic trip across some of the nation’s most restricted airspace. Authorities said they did not suspect terrorism.

The crash near Times Square and Trump Tower shook the 750-foot AXA Equitable building, sparked a fire, and forced office workers to flee on elevators and down stairs, witnesses and officials said.

The pilot was the only person aboard, and there were no other reports of injuries, authorities said.

It was not immediately clear what caused the crash, or why the Agusta A109E was flying in a driving downpour with low cloud cover and in the tightly controlled airspace of midtown Manhattan.

The pilot, identified by his employer as Tim McCormack, was a former fire chief in upstate Clinton, New York.

With 15 years of experience flying helicopters and single-engine airplanes, he was certified as a flight instructor last year, according to Federal Aviation Administration records.

Black union troops flag to be auctioned

DENVER, Pa. — A flag that was carried into battle by a black Union regiment during the Civil War and hand-painted by an acclaimed African American artist is going up for auction in Pennsylvania.

The 127th United States Colored Infantry Regiment’s flag depicts a black soldier waving goodbye to Columbia, the white female personification of America, beneath a banner reading, “We Will Prove Ourselves Men.” It was one of at least 11 such flags painted by David Bustill Bowser, an artist, activist and son of a fugitive slave. It’s the only known surviving flag, and is being auctioned off June 13 at Morphy Auctions in Denver, Pennsylvania, about 60 miles west of Philadelphia.

About 11,000 black union troops trained at Camp William Penn, just outside Philadelphia, on land that belonged to abolitionist and women’s rights advocate Lucretia Mott.

They weren’t permitted to join state troops, so federal black regiments were formed, said Joseph Becton, of the African American Museum in Philadelphia.

Bowser had a successful banner and sign business in Philadelphia, and was chosen to design regimental flags for those troops.

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The Associated Press

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