• 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

    State, refinery reach agreement on cleanup

    by Associated Press on Oct 21, 7:17

    Owners of the shuttered North Pole refinery and the state of Alaska have agreed on cleanup methods for a leak of an industrial chemical at the site. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (http://bit.ly/1rpKyHN) reports the agreement for the cleanup of sulfolane was worked out between Flint Hills Resources Alaska, the Alaska Department of Law and the […]

  • News

    Parnell fires more National Guard leaders; Walker says ‘too little, too late’

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Oct 20, 23:05

    Alaska’s governor has removed three leaders of the Alaska National Guard, effective immediately. A release from Gov. Sean Parnell’s office states that these transitions in the Guard’s senior leadership were made Monday at the governor’s direction. The removal of the three officials comes at a time when Parnell is in the process of selecting a permanent […]

  • News

    Girl Scouts bring special-needs shopping carts to Sitka

    by Heather Hintze on Oct 20, 19:46

    For those who have children with special needs, everything is a bit more challenging. Recently, Sitka resident Jeff Bentley brought his daughter, Jema, along on a trip to the grocery store. The five-year-old has epilepsy and cerebral palsy. “Jema, you want to sit in the cart?” Bentley asked her. The father says even a trip to […]

  • Weather

    Evening News weather, Oct. 20

    by KTVA Weather on Oct 20, 19:44

    Kenai Peninsula and Prince William Sound can expect clearing skies with some lingering snow showers in the morning. In the Southeast, showers will happen south of Sitka with a possibility of showers to the north. Patchy fog will develop along the land areas. Interior areas will have cloudy skies and flurries possible, while the North […]

  • Lifestyle

    Web Extra: Digging out

    by John Thain on Oct 20, 18:59

    We knew it was coming, but today’s snowfall still felt like a surprise. Were you ready for the snow? We asked some Rabbit Creek residents how they felt about the area’s first measurable snowfall of the season.

  • News

    First snow greets Anchorage

    by Lauren Maxwell on Oct 20, 18:42

    Anchorage’s first measurable snowfall of the season took some people by surprise, while others accepted it in stride. Darnell Little says he knew on Sunday that Monday’s snowfall would take place — not because he heard the weather forecast, but because he looked up at the mountains. “I told my wife, ‘I can’t see the […]

  • News

    ASD bans military recruiters after reports of alleged misconduct

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Oct 20, 18:01

    The Anchorage School District has banned all military recruiters from the district’s campuses until further notice. This decision comes in light of recent reports that allege members of the Alaska Army National Guard’s recruiting staff made inappropriate advances toward high school students. Superintendent Ed Graff with the Anchorage School District says last week’s leak of […]

  • Politics

    Early voting begins in Alaska

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Oct 20, 15:49

    Those who lined up at the Division of Elections headquarters in midtown Anchorage this morning were among the first in the state to cast their ballots for November’s general election. Voters across Alaska have more opportunity than ever before to vote early as the DOE has added 130 new locations for absentee and early voting. Those […]