Gov. Andrew Cuomo was forced to make an emergency landing at Stewart Airport as his helicopter got filled with fume while he was flying back to New York City from the upstate. Cuomo delivered speeches at Albany and Syracuse, explaining his 2017 agenda on Wednesday before he made his return journey to New York City. Spokesman James Allen informed the media that just around 4 pm, the helicopter that was carrying the Governor began to get all filled with fume which smelled like smoke.
The pilot responded to the situation immediately making an emergency landing at the Stewart Airport which is located 60 miles North of Manhattan. Gov. Cuomo was accompanied by two of his aides and security during the flight. No one was hurt during the incident and later was transported safely to New York City. According to the official spokesman, the incident is being investigated and the helicopter is currently undergoing maintenance.
Interestingly, a very similar incident happened with Andrew Cuomo’s father Mario Cuomo in 1988 who was the governor during that time. The state owned aircraft was forced to make an emergency landing at a Pennsylvania airport after it got filled up with smoke while senior Cuomo was onboard. The troubled aircraft went through a $700,000 overhauling just a year before the incident took place.
According to a source, a proposal was submitted earlier to buy a state police helicopter worth $12.5 million which would carry Gov. Andrew Cuomo around the state. The State Police wanted the new aircraft as the current chopper fleet is aging and no new aircraft has been added to the fleet in nearly 14 years. However, the request was blocked last year by Thomas DiNapoli, the state comptroller for a non-bid purchase.
Gov. Cuomo had a rather hectic week covering nearly 1,260 miles and delivering 9 hours of speech during his three-day tour.