The office building close to Times Square shook from the impact, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said.New Yorkers, he added, have “a level of PTSD from 9/11” when they hear news of an aircraft crash in Manhattan.
The pilot has been named by local media as Tim McCormack.
He was the only person aboard the twin-engine Agusta A109E helicopter, said the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
The incident happened at around 14:00 (18:00 GMT) on a rainy and foggy Monday on Seventh Avenue.
No debris was visible on the pavement or road below the scene of the AXA Equitable building, which is about 750ft (229m) and more than 50 storeys high.
The aircraft took off from a heliport at Manhattan’s east side at 13:32 and crashed 11 minutes later, officials said.New York Commissioner James O’Neill told a news conference the helicopter had been engaged in “executive travel” at the time of the crash.
The city’s top police officer said the aircraft’s reason for flying in such poor weather would be “part of the investigation”.
The building is about half a mile from Trump Tower, and airspace has been under a flight restriction since he became president.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the incident.
Last month a helicopter crashed into the Hudson River, falling just short of a heliport.
Five people were killed in 2018 when a sightseeing helicopter plunged into the East River.