Michael Strasmich, a retired small business owner in his late 50s, was riding his bike over on the west side's Hudson River Greenway in March 2007 when a helicopter landed at the West 30th Street airport. According to his attorney, David Rankin, the aircraft’s top blade was approximately 30 feet from Strasmich at the time of the incident, and a gust of wind from the chopper knocked him off his bike! Strasmich has hit by another cyclist and injured, but it was all for a good cause: the helicopter was delivering important executives from the East Side of Manhattan to the West Side.

Strasmich, who weighs about 150 pounds, separated his shoulder in the collision with the other cyclist and required surgery. But as soon as he was back on his feet, he decided to go after the heliport operator, Air Pegasus, and the owner of the helicopter company in court. Rankin tells us they're suing for an undetermined sum, adding, "We're happy the heliport made substantial changes since this accident to reduce the chance of this happening. Nonetheless we think this is a foolish place for a heliport given negative impact on people's lives, and that it's mainly used by executives."

In the wake of the accident, Air Pegasus erected an 8-foot-high concrete barrier, which Rankin says has been effective in stopping cyclists from getting blown away. But The New York Law Journal reports that Air Pegasus argues that while it advised pilots about wind conditions, nearby air traffic and which landing pads to use, the heliport "did not control landing helicopters or their pilots. Air Pegasus also noted that it was not involved in the creation of the heliport or the bike path, which had been built by the New York State Department of Transportation and the Hudson River Park Trust." Yeah, can't Strasmich just sue the city like everyone else?

Nevertheless, Justice Edmead said in her decision that Air Pegasus failed to establish that it was not negligent in failing to assist the helicopter at the time of the accident. Rankin, Strasmich's attorney, says Air Pegasus could have instructed the helicopter to land either on a landing pad located on a nearby pier or a barge on the Hudson River. And Judge Edmead ruled that the case against Air Pegasus could go forward, because the heliport "was admittedly responsible for advising the pilot about wind conditions, and to this extent, Air Pegasus played a part in the manner of the helicopter’s approach and landing."