2005_06_helicopcheck.jpgThree Australian tourists who survived Monday's helicopter crash in the East River spoke to the media yesterday. Greg Fisher, Taryn Fay, and Mary Johnston explained what they went through, saying the seat belts were hard to unbuckle in the water. They even said they loved New York, even though the NY Times noted that they only did so "with sufficient prodding"; they were tightlipped about whether or not they had retained lawyers to, perhaps, sue Helicopter Flight Services, the company offering the tours. One said about the helicopter ride, "I thought it was going to be the best thing we'd do in New York." Far be it from Gothamist to dictate their feelings, but at least they survived. Newsday reports that although they are continuing their trip to Los Angeles, the three have scratched their plans to visit the Grand Canyon via helicopter.

The NY Times also added that the pilot, Yossi Benbassat, had "3,500 hours of helicopter flight experience, and 200 are needed for a commercial license" according to a National Transportation Safety Board investigator. The NTSB is going to take apart the engine as part of its investigation. And the in spirit of the trade, the NY Post spoke to chopper-tour minded tourists, who said, "The high prices scare me more than the crash," and Newsday went on ride in one.