Firefighters work on the roof of 787 Seventh Avenue at 51st Street after a helicopter crashed there on June 10, 2019 in New York City. Authorities said they did not suspect terrorism.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio appeared to confirm that that helicopter was the same aircraft piloted by McCormack.
The visibility at the time of Monday's crash was about 1¼ miles (2 kilometers) at nearby Central Park, with low clouds blanketing the skyline.
One lawmaker called for "non-essential" helicopter flights over Manhattan to be banned.
The crash on Monday killed the Tim McCormack, the former fire chief in Clinton Corners, New York, who was an experienced pilot.
The company that owns the helicopter, American Continental Properties, said McCormack flew for them for the past five years.
A dramatic video circulating on social media shows a helicopter flying erratically over the East River. He then reviewed the weather forecast and took off for Linden, New Jersey.
The director at Linden Municipal Airport, Paul Dudley, described McCormack as "a highly seasoned" and "very well regarded" pilot who was a regular at the airfield.
Evacuees were stuck on the stairs for more than 20 minutes because the elevators were shut down, the Hillsdale woman said.
"He may have intentionally gone for that roof to spare the people on the street", Dudley said. McCormack was alone in the bird when it happened and he died on the spot.
Based on interviews the NYPD conducted at the 34th Street heliport on Manhattan's east side, the pilot was waiting out the weather but for some reason decided it was OK to go, another law enforcement source told CNN.
The building where the chopper crashed sits about half a mile from Trump Tower, where President Donald Trump sometimes stays when he's in the city.
Rescue vehicles swarmed to the scene. The crash caused an explosion and forced thousands of office workers to evacuate the building.
The city fire department urged people to avoid the area.
"If you're a New Yorker, you have a level of PTSD from 9/11 and I remember that morning all too well. So as soon as you hear an aircraft hit a building, I think my mind goes where every New Yorker's mind goes", Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters.
"The location - within the city and on top of the roof of a building - is probably the biggest challenge in the investigation", Brazy said.
"There were no other injuries that we know of at this point in time to anyone in the building or on the ground", he said: adding: "Thank God for that".
The city now allows helicopters to take off and land from three heliports, one each on the East and West sides and in downtown Manhattan.
A two-alarm fire that broke out in the crash was doused, police said.