As noted in our newsletter this morning, on this day in 1953, the first commuter passenger service by helicopter began. New York Airways provided a lift for busy folks who wanted to avoid traffic.

Just a little over 10 years after launching, one of the flights from Idlewild Airport (now JFK), en route to Newark via Wall Street, crashed and killed all six on board. In the late '70s, the landing gear failed on a plane taking on passengers at the Pan Am building. "It tipped over; its spinning rotor blades killed four passengers waiting to board (including movie director Michael Findlay) and injured a fifth, and parts of a broken blade fell into the streets below, killing one pedestrian and injuring another. The accident precipitated the closure of the heliport for good." Yikes!

There's a great collection of old schedules and brochures here. Would you have ever gotten on this thing?