US: Plane crash during emergency landing at Republic Airport in Farmingdale; 1 dead, 2 critical
The crash of a small plane attempting an emergency landing at Republic Airport in Farmingdale on Sunday left one person dead and two seriously injured. The crash happened as the plane was returning to a Long Island suburban airport after the pilot reported smoke in the cockpit, an official said.
The Piper PA 28 crashed shortly before 3 p.m. as it was returning for an emergency landing at Republic Airport in Farmingdale, about 20 miles east of New York City, authorities said.
Suffolk County Police said the single-engine plane took off from the same airport at 2:18 p.m. and the pilot issued a distress call a short time later, indicating smoke in the cockpit.
According to the statement, the plane had returned to the airfield to make an emergency landing, but crashed at 2:58 p.m. near an intersection in North Lindenhurst, not far from the Long Island Rail Road track.
One person was pronounced dead at the scene and the two others were taken in critical condition by medevac helicopter to an area hospital, Police Commissioner Rodney K Harrison said in a statement.
It said their names were withheld while relatives were notified. The plane crashed into an area of trees and undergrowth near the tracks, Babylon Town Supervisor Rich Schaffer said. Of the crash area, he said: “It’s like a buffer running along the tracks.
Tom Altieri told Newsday that he was getting out of his vehicle at about 3 p.m. to enter his home in North Lindenhurst when he noticed a small plane that was unusually “low and slow.” Several seconds after seeing the plane fly over him , he heard “a somewhat large explosion” followed by a plume of smoke.
One person posted photos to social media showing black smoke over homes on a suburban street. Police said they had closed a local road due to the accident.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was notified and responded to the scene. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating the cause of the accident.
(with AP input)
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