Death Above Manhattan
May 16, 1977 - One of the coolest ways to travel from Manhattan to JFK Airport used to be a 7-minute helicopter flight that took off from the helipad on top of the Pan Am Building. This was the last day anyone ever made that trip.
At 5:35 in the afternoon, passengers were boarding the Sikorsky Model S-61L helicopter when the landing gear suddenly collapsed and the aircraft rolled onto its starboard side. One of the 20-foot rotor blades snapped off and cut into the crowd of boarding passengers. 3 people died instantly on the roof.
The blade then flew over the side of the building and landed on Madison Avenue where it killed a pedestrian. One more passenger would later die from his injuries.
After the tragedy, the helipad atop the Pan Am Building was permanently closed.