A small plane crashed on New York’s Long Island on Saturday, killing the man and woman on board, but their dog survived, authorities said.
The Federal Aviation Authority said in a statement that the single-engine Beechcraft A36 plane crashed in Southold, Long Island, at around 9.15am.
Southold Chief of Police Martin Flately said in an email that the two people aboard the plane were killed, but that a dog that was in the plane survived.
The victims’ names were not immediately released, although authorities said they were from Long Island.
The aircraft was flying from Long Island’s MacArthur Airport to New Bedford, Massachusetts, when it experienced ‘some type of mechanical failure’ and crashed, Flately said.
Jamesport Fire Chief Mario Carrera told Newsday that the plane was ‘fully engulfed and burning’ when firefighters arrived.
Kenneth Cooper told the newspaper that he was driving when he saw the plane flying north at a low altitude. He said the plane ‘came out of the sky at a very sharp angle’ and banked to the left. He said he saw a ‘giant plume of black smoke’ when it crashed.
The plane crashed in a freshly plowed field at the Harbes Family Farm, said Evelyn Martinez, a daughter of the farm’s owner, Ed Harbes.
‘Firefighters, police officers and rescue personnel arrived at the scene within minutes and put out the ensuing fire,’ Martinez said in a statement obtained by News 12. ‘This is a sad tragedy, and our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the passengers of the aircraft.
MacArthur Airport Commissioner Shelly LaRose-Arken said that the plane was based out of the airport, but did not name its registered owner.
Cooper praised the plane’s pilot for managing to avoid crashing into homes, instead crash landing in the field.
‘The person who was driving the plane obviously cared about the residents and put it down as best he could in the safest place possible,’ Cooper said.
Southold Police Det. Sgt. John Sinning told Newsday that the state of the victims’ bodies ‘will make the identification process go a little longer.’
The dog that escaped from the crash was said to have been rescued by the farm’s owner and then given to the victims’ family members when they arrived at the scene.
The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash. A very preliminary report about the crash is expected to be released in the next seven to 10 days.
SOURCE: Daily Mail – Maxine Shen, AP