The pilot who was killed when his helicopter crash landed onto a New York City skyscraper roof before bursting into flames has been identified.
The real estate company that used the twin-engine Agusta helicopter confirmed today that the pilot was Tim McCormack, of Clinton Corners, New York.
American Continental Properties said McCormack had flown for the company for the past five years.
The dual-engine chopper crashed onto the 51-storey high-rise in midtown Manhattan in bad weather about 2pm local time.
The Agusta 109E is an eight-seat, multipurpose helicopter manufactured in both single and twin-engine variants.
It is believed Mr McCormack was the only person on-board at the time of the collision and may have been in distress while deciding to crash on top of a building rather than on the packed streets below.
Photographs show that the helicopter that crashed into a New York City skyscraper was obliterated on impact.
Pictures released by the Fire Department show piles of burned rubble on the roof of the tower.
Only a few pieces of the wreckage are recognisable as having been parts of an aircraft, including a piece of the tail.
Damage to the building itself appear light.
The aircraft took off from a Manhattan helipad and was in the air for about 11 minutes before it crashed.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said a fire broke out and the building caught fire as the helicopter landed.
'The helicopter made a force landing or landed onto the building where there was a fire, people in the building said they felt the building shake and fire department said they believe the fire is under control,' Mr Cuomo said.
Mr Cuomo also said the incident does not appear to be terror-related.
'If you're a New Yorker you have a level of PTSD from 9/11... so as soon as you hear an aircraft hit a building, I think my mind goes where every New Yorker's mind goes. But there's no indication that that is the case.'
The NYPD said to avoid the area of West 51st and 7th Avenue due to an ongoing police investigation and to expect emergency vehicles and traffic in the area.
Nathan Hutton, who works in the building, told reporters about the chaos in the building as people tried to evacuate.
'It took a half hour to get from the 29th floor down to the ground floor. There were just too many people, it was too crowded, and everybody was trying to get off on all the floors at the same time,' he said.
'You could feel the building shake, and you could actually hear the alarms.'
He said when alarms went off, security told people to evacuate the building via the stairs and not the elevators.
'We could feel it when it hit but no one knew what it was,' he said.
Another worker inside the building at the time, Franklin Acosta, told reporters his immediate decision after feeling the shudder caused by the collision was to flee.
'I just felt the building shook. It was just shaking and then I decided to talk to my co-workers and told them to evacuate because it just didn't feel natural to me,' he said.
American Continental properties said in a statement that 'our hearts are with his family and friends.'
McCormack was formerly a volunteer fire chief for the East Clinton Fire District.
FAA records said he had been certified in 2004 to fly helicopters and single-engine airplanes. He was certified as a flight instructor last year.
Authorities also say the helicopter was being used for executive travel.
At the time of the incident, moderate to heavy rain was falling in the city and visibility was low.
At the time of the crash, the helicopter was also flying in airspace that is supposed to be off-limits.
A flight restriction in effect since President Donald Trump took office bans aircraft from flying below 914 meters within a 1.6 kilometre radius of Trump Tower, which is just a few blocks from the crash site.
Video from the scene showed dozens of emergency vehicles with lights flashing. About 100 Fire and EMS units have responded, according to FDNY.
In the hours since the collision, US Republican Congresswoman Carolyn B Maloney has called for a ban on non-essential helicopters from Manhattan.
'We cannot rely on good fortune to protect people on the ground,' she said.
'It is past time for the FAA to ban unnecessary helicopters from the skies over our densely packed urban city. The risks to New Yorkers are just too high.'
© Nine Digital Pty Ltd 2019