Helicopter flown by Mayor Bloomberg pilot makes unexpected landing at Meadowlands U2 concert
By James Queally
September 24, 2009, 11:18PM
EAST RUTHERFORD -Famed Irish rock band U2 certainly expected to draw a large crowd for its highly anticipated performance tonight at Giants Stadium, but the show had nothing to do with a helicopter that landed outside before Bono and crew took the stage.
Toby Wilson, a pilot who works for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, landed a chopper in the stadium’s parking lot around 7 p.m., according to State Police Sgt. Stephen Jones.
A New York City official familiar with the situation who requested anonymity said Wilson flew Bloomberg into New Jersey and the mayor was driven to the concert. The pilot, who had never flown to the Meadowlands before, was conducting a test landing, the official said, who added that the helicopter is privately owned by Bloomberg.
Wilson touched down in a shuttle bus parking lot at the sports and entertainment complex, Jones said. After Wilson was approached by several state troopers who were on the scene for the rock concert, he confirmed he was employed by Bloomberg.
No one was injured during the chopper landing, and Bloomberg was not on board.
Air traffic controllers from nearby Teterboro Airport monitored the chopper’s flight path, according to Jones.
Wilson soon left in his helicopter after telling troopers he would not return to the area last night.
The helicopter’s Meadowlands landing was the second unusual aircraft incident in the state this week. On Monday, a pair of F-15 fighter jets escorted a pilot away from Middlesex County airspace when the plane inadvertently entered restricted airspace. The F-15s were patrolling the skies for President Obama, who was making a guest appearance on “Late Show with David Letterman.”