• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m 28s

Small plane makes emergency landing on NYC highway

By CBS News/Associated Press 9:08 PM January 4, 2014

"I thought I'd seen everything in my life"

NEW YORK - A small plane traveling to Connecticut after taking a tour of the Statue of Liberty made an emergency landing Saturday on a New York City interstate highway, startling drivers but touching down safely with no serious injuries to anyone aboard or on the ground, officials said.

The aircraft, a Piper PA-28, set down at around 3:20 p.m. on the northbound side of the Major Deegan Expressway in the Bronx, in an area where the highway passes through Van Cortlandt Park.

The Federal Aviation Administration said three people were on board. Police and fire officials said neither the male pilot nor two female passengers appeared to have been badly hurt. All were taken to a Bronx hospital for non-life-threatening injuries, said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

De Blasio told reporters the plane had departed from Danbury Municipal Airport and was making the return trip when it experienced engine problems.

“We have…extraordinary situation and actually a bit of a miracle, thank God, that happened today in our city,” he said, calling the successful highway landing, without any serious injuries or deaths, “amazing.”

“I thought I’d seen everything in my life,” he said.

The FAA said damage to the aircraft was minor. Photos taken by bystanders showed the blue and white plane largely intact but resting on its belly by the snowy edge of the road. The plane’s landing gear appeared in the photos to have collapsed.

A maintenance crew of city Department of Transportation workers fixing potholes on the northbound side of the highway noticed the plane in distress heading toward them and stopped traffic, clearing space for the plane to land, a DOT spokesman said.

“The plane hit the ground, it came straight down and hit the treetops, and we helped escort the passengers off,” DOT crew member Miguel Lopez told CBS New York.

It wasn’t immediately clear what kind of engine problems the plane experienced. A spokeswoman for the FAA said it was investigating but said the National Transportation Safety Board would take over the investigation if it was determined the aircraft sustained a significant amount of damage.

There were no fires or gas leaks and emergency workers removed the plane’s fuel to secure the scene, de Blasio said.

The highway was closed and emergency personnel were on the scene until about 6 p.m., when the plane was taken away on a flatbed truck to a local aviation facility, the FAA said.

FAA records indicated the plane was registered to an owner in South Salem, N.Y.

Patricia Sapol, 29, of West Point, was driving south on the highway with her husband when they saw emergency vehicles surrounding the downed plane near exit 13, about 15 minutes after the landing.

“We couldn’t believe it! We thought, ‘Oh my god that’s a plane!’ It was pretty incredible,” she said. “The fact that there was no actual crash we thought was pretty surprising.”

Latest Stories

  • News

    Building an Alaskan legacy: Murkowski looks ahead to new leadership roles

    by Rhonda McBride on Nov 26, 2:48

    Come January, when the Republican majority takes over the U.S. Senate, Sen. Lisa Murkowski will have the power to strike a double whammy. She will wield two gavels: chair of the Energy and Natural Resources committee and chair of the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee. Political observers say it’s unusual to see such a combination of chairmanships. […]

  • News

    First day of Great Alaska Shootout sees 1,300 tickets sold

    by Kate McPherson on Nov 26, 2:39

    The Great Alaska Shootout is on the rebound after the first two women’s games drew decent crowds to the new venue at the Alaska Airlines Center Tuesday night. More than 1,300 tickets were sold for the session, though attendance was higher with some players’ families and team support staff not included in the ticket-sale figure. […]

  • News

    Alaska Gov.-elect Walker names 4 to positions

    by Associated Press on Nov 25, 23:27

    Alaska Gov.-elect Bill Walker on Tuesday announced four new staff members, including an attorney general. Walker said in a release that Craig Richards will serve as attorney general. Richards said he’ll be reviewing the status of the National Guard investigation and the state’s lawsuit that is trying to reinstate the ban on same-sex marriage. Walker […]

  • News

    Vehicle leaves Parks Highway, strikes sled dog team near Willow

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Nov 25, 21:48

    A musher is in the hospital after a car veered off the Parks Highway Tuesday night and hit a sled dog team. At around 7:30 p.m., authorities responded to Mile 91 of the highway in the Willow area. There, they found a seriously injured musher and numerous sled dogs. Mat-Su spokesperson Patty Sullivan says a […]

  • Lifestyle

    Artists in Alaska plan to add a little color to Black Friday

    by Shannon Ballard on Nov 25, 20:10

    Life needs color, says Lori Teich. That explains why nearly everything she owns is splattered with paint. Teich says she started experimenting with acrylic after serving five years in the U.S. Coast Guard. “I’ve kind of always had that urge to do it,” she said. It’s the one thing that helps her relax. Painting even transferred color […]

  • Weather

    Evening News weather, Nov. 25

    by KTVA Weather on Nov 25, 20:05

      Kenai Peninsula and Prince William Sound Skies will be sunny with early morning fog. Southeast Lots of sunshine to the north. Partly sunny skies in the southern inner channels. Interior and North Slope Skies will cloudy and temperatures falling again. Interior Alaska received its first measurable snowfall of November today with nearly six inches […]

  • Sports

    Great Alaska Shootout brings former Dimond player home

    by KTVA Sports on Nov 25, 19:48

    Boise State guard Keiahnna Engel is home. The former Dimond High School standout is back in Anchorage, but she is not here to visit family. This trip is all business. “I’m so used to her wanting to like come bug me and come hang out and stuff and all that type of weird sisterly things […]

  • News

    Sullivan Arena sees competition as Great Alaska Shootout moves to UAA

    by Heather Hintze on Nov 25, 19:39

    The only shootout you’ll find at the Sullivan Arena this week will be on the ice. For the first year since it opened in 1983, the arena isn’t hosting the GCI Great Alaska Shootout basketball tournament.  Instead, a hockey team from Northern Michigan is practicing there before heading up to Fairbanks. “It’s obviously one of […]