The New York Fire Department has contained the fire. "This could have been a much worse accident", he said.
Only the roof of the building was damaged by the crash.
"I saw the explosion and the smoke coming out", he said.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration's airmen records, McCormack was issued his commercial pilot license on September 24, 2004, and received his flight instructor certificate for "Rotorcraft-Helicopter" previous year on June 28, 2018. The area has been under a temporary flight restriction since his election in November 2016.
Officials said that the crash took place 11 minutes after the helicopter took off from Manhattan's East Side.
It remains unclear who owns the helicopter or why it would have been trying to land on that building, which does not have a landing pad.
- On May 16, 1977, five people were killed when a helicopter blade broke off a chopper on a helipad at the top of a skyscraper atop General Central Terminal, according to media reports at the time.
"It felt like you were just standing there, and someone takes their hand and just shoves you", he said.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was among the many New Yorkers who said the incident brought back memories of the September 11 terror attacks at the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan. "You felt it through the whole building".
"So whenever we have a fire in a high rise building - 54 stories, it's over 700 feet tall - we always have challenges being able to get enough water pressure to get up to the higher levels of the building", Thomas Richardson, chief of fire operations, explained. "Phenomenal job by our GREAT First Responders who are now on the scene", the president said in a tweet.
Mr de Blasio said it was "an unusual situation for sure", and the helicopter would have needed special permits from LaGuardia Airport in Queens, New York City, to fly so close to Trump Tower.
"The Trump Administration stands ready should you need anything at all". "The National Transportation Safety Board will be in charge of the investigation and will determine probable cause of the accident", the agency said.
The incident caused a fire atop the the building at 787 Seventh Ave., and prompted evacuations, the governor said.
Shocking photographs released by the FDNY showed the aircraft was completely obliterated on impact with the roof of the AXA Equitable building.
The skyscraper is managed by Los Angeles-based CommonWealth Partners.
"We are pretty shocked we hope everyone is OK and safe", said Ron Magee, 55, a real estate agent on vacation from Las Vegas with his family.