Photo credit: James Carbone
Wreckage of the charred Mooney M20C (N557M) aircraft in a wooded area on Daniels Hole Road where it crashed. Both the pilot, Steven Bochter, 51, and passenger Kim Brillo, were rescued from burning aircraft by passersby. (August 27, 2012)
Minutes after taking off from East Hampton Airport with his fiancee, pilot Steven Bochter said his single-engine plane lost power and his instincts kicked in.
Bochter, 51, looked for a place to land, but all he could see were tall trees. He quickly maneuvered the plane so it would land on its belly, not its nose. He hoped the move would lessen the severity of the impact.
"We fell out...
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Pilot and fiancee 'lucky' to survive plane crash
WAINSCOTT, N.Y. — A pilot whose small plane crashed on Long Island says he was able to maneuver the four-seat aircraft so it would land on its belly.
Steen Bochter told Newsday (http://bit.ly/PqP1g7 ) he had played out a crash-preparation scenario in his head countless times.
Bochter and his fiancee, Kim Brillo, suffered cuts, bruises and leg and arm fractures in the crash on Sunday.
He said they considered themselves very lucky. The Assonet, Massachusetts, couple was released from Stony Brooklyn University Hospital on Tuesday.
He said he unbuckled the unconscious Brillo and pulled her out of the burning plane.
The couple had spent an afternoon in East Hampton and was heading to Taunton, Mass., when the engine died.
Bochter, a motorcycle dealer, has owned his plane for 13 years.
___ Information from: Newsday, http://www.newsday.com
NTSB Identification: ERA12LA532
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, August 26, 2012 in East Hampton, NY
Aircraft: MOONEY M20C, registration: N557M
Injuries: 2 Serious.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.
On August 26, 2012, at 1715 eastern daylight time, a Mooney M20C, N557M, registered to a private owner, experienced a total loss of engine power on initial takeoff climb from East Hampton Airport (HTO) East Hampton, New York. The pilot attempted to return to the airport and the airplane collided with trees. The airplane sustained substantial damage due to impact and a postcrash fire. The private pilot and one passenger received serious injuries. The flight was operating as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The flight departed HTO at 1714.
The pilot stated he conducted a preflight inspection and no anomalies were noted. He completed an engine start, taxi, and engine run up. No anomalies were noted. He departed from runway 10. The airplane became airborne and he retracted the landing gear and flaps. The engine rpm decreased from 2,750 rpm to 2,400 rpm. He verified the carburetor heat was off, and the throttle, propeller, and mixture controls were full forward. He declared an emergency with East Hampton Control Tower and turned left in an attempt to return to a closed runway. During the turn “the engine became quiet” and the airplane collided with trees.
The airplane has been recovered pending further examination.
IDENTIFICATION Regis#: 557M Make/Model: MO20 Description: M20C Date: 08/26/2012 Time: 2136 Event Type: Accident Highest Injury: Serious Mid Air: N Missing: N Damage: Destroyed LOCATION City: EAST HAMPTON State: NY Country: US DESCRIPTION AIRCRAFT CRASHED INTO A WOODED AREA SHORTLY AFTER DEPARTURE, NEAR EAST HAMPTON, NY INJURY DATA Total Fatal: 0 # Crew: 2 Fat: 0 Ser: 2 Min: 0 Unk: # Pass: 0 Fat: 0 Ser: 0 Min: 0 Unk: # Grnd: Fat: 0 Ser: 0 Min: 0 Unk: OTHER DATA Activity: Unknown Phase: Unknown Operation: OTHER FAA FSDO: FARMINGDALE, NY (EA11) Entry date: 08/27/2012