EERIE video footage taken from inside the cockpit of the helicopter that crashed into the East River on Sunday shows some of the final minutes of the passengers - with one giving a thumb's up to the camera.
Photographer Trevor Cadigan, 26, of Dallas, Texas, took the video of himself and other passengers and posted it to Instagram just minutes before the crash that killed him and four others, with only the pilot surviving.
According to the New York Post, Cadigan was a video journalist who just moved to New York City a few months ago, relatives said.
The video then pans to the river and a bridge and the setting sun in the distance.
The dead also included two New York City residents - Tristan Hill, 30, of the sightseeing-tour company Sightsy, and Daniel Thompson, 34, who worked for the helicopter company - as well as 26-year-old firefighter Brian McDaniel of Dallas and Argentinian Carla Vallejos-Blanco, 29, officials said.
The helicopter may have gone down because of an errant piece of luggage, according to a report.
Pilot Richard Vance, 33, who was the only person on-board to survive the crash, told investigators that one of the passengers' bags may have inadvertently hit the chopper's emergency shutoff button, sending the aircraft down, a senior law enforcement official told CNN.
Mr Vance managed to free himself from the sinking aircraft, FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said earlier.
He was taken to a hospital for observation and has been released, officials said.
"One of the most difficult parts of the rescue were that five people were tightly harnessed," Mr Nigro said. "People had to be cut out."
The chopper, a 2013 model Eurocopter AS350, was a private charter commissioned for a photo shoot, NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill told reporters.
It was owned by New Jersey-based Liberty Helicopters, which claims on its website of being "the largest and most experienced helicopter sightseeing and charter service in the Northeast."
This article first appeared in the New York Post and is republished with permission.