Small Plane Makes Emergency Landing on Bronx Highway

New York Times – by EMMA G. FITZSIMMONS and ASHLEY SOUTHALL

A single-engine plane made an emergency landing on the Major Deegan Expressway in the Bronx on Saturday afternoon, officials said. No one was seriously injured.

The plane landed in the northbound lane of the expressway around 3:20 p.m. near East 233rd Street, fire officials said.

The plane, which had flown from Danbury, Conn., on a tour of the Statue of Liberty, landed in the northbound lane around 3:20 p.m. near East 233rd Street, officials said. The pilot and his two women passengers were taken to St. Barnabas Hospital with minor injuries.  

The pilot was able to land on the usually heavily trafficked expressway because a crew of city workers repairing potholes had largely blocked off much of the traffic, creating a stretch of cleared lanes north of it, on the northbound stretch of the expressway, said workers at the scene.

The workers said the plane appeared to have engine trouble and brushed treetops before landing.

No cars were damaged during the landing, officials said, but there were major delays into the evening as officials investigated. Officials said they had to remove the fuel before they could move the plane from the scene.

The plane, a 1966 Piper PA-28, is registered to Michael Schwartz of South Salem, N.Y., according to Federal Aviation Administration records.

Bert Troche, 58, a highway repair worker for the city’s Department of Transportation, said he was patching holes on the expressway that were caused by the snow on Friday.

Mr. Troche said the crew was using two large trucks to protect themselves from the approaching traffic while repairing the surface of the traffic lanes.

“We took out the right and center lane, so the traffic was running slow, and then that gave him enough time to come down because he was coming down like this and his motor went dead and he had to find a place to land,” he said.

Miguel Lopez, a supervisor for the repair crew, said the workers loaded the passengers into his truck to wait for emergency officials.

“I told them to get in the truck so they could stay warm and collect their thoughts,” Mr. Lopez said.

Mr. Troche said the passengers appeared happy to have survived without major injuries.

“It was scary, but thank god nobody got hurt,” he said.

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One thought on “Small Plane Makes Emergency Landing on Bronx Highway

  1. Ok, considering there’s a snowstorm going on in the entire Northeast and that flights were cancelled the other day, I don’t think flying around was a very smart idea. I mean what the hell was the pilot thinking?

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