Doors-off flight experiences promoted by FlyNYON. Last Sunday's tragic flight was booked through the company, and operated by Liberty Helicopters.

A photo tour helicopter crash in New York's East River that claimed the lives of five passengers has prompted closer scrutiny of doors-off flights. For now, the Federal Aviation Administration has ordered a stop to such flights involving restraints that can't be released quickly in the event of an emergency.

Doors-off helicopter tours are popular among sightseers and aerial photographers, and typically involve sturdy restraints so that passengers can safely lean toward the open sides of the aircraft for better views. Unfortunately, as was the case in last Sunday's crash, these harnesses can also prevent passengers from escaping a helicopter in the event of an emergency water landing.

Not all doors-off flights operate with the same kinds of harnesses. Some use restraints that allow less freedom of movement, but can be removed more quickly in an emergency. Travel Resource Editor Michael Bonocore wrote recently about his experience in such a doors-off flight.

Less restrictive – and harder to remove – harnesses allow passengers to capture popular 'shoe selfie' shots as they can move with more freedom. Last Sunday's flight employed these kinds of harnesses, as demonstrated for the Associated Press in the video below.

The FAA states that in addition to ordering operators to mitigate the risks of these kinds of harnesses, it will also review its own regulations to identify any potential misapplications.