Thursday, July 10, 2014

Challenger, N31686: Incident occurred July 10, 2014 near Spadaro Airport (1N2), East Moriches, New York


Plane Makes Emergency Landing On Sunrise Highway Median In East Moriches  

 EAST MORICHES, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) – No one was hurt when a single-engine plane made an emergency landing on the grassy median of a Long Island highway Thursday.

The ultralight Challenger plane experienced engine trouble about a minute after taking off from Lufker/Spadaro Airport in East Moriches around 1:30 p.m., police said.

Pilot Frank Fierro realized the plane wouldn’t make it back to the airport and decided to land it on the median between the eastbound and westbound lanes of Sunrise Highway near exit 61, police said.

The bright yellow plane was not damaged and was towed to nearby Spadaro Airport.

“No time were any motorists in danger,” Suffolk County Police Sgt. George Hodge told reporters, including WCBS 880′s Sophia Hall. “The pilot was never over actually a travel lane of Sunrise Highway.”

Police told Hall the pilot, who is in his mid 70s, has been licensed since 1956 and his wealth of experience likely helped him land safely.

Authorities said that because of a quick response, there were only limited traffic delays on the highway.

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SUFFOLK COUNTY, N.Y. (WABC) --   A small plane made an emergency landing on the median of the Sunrise Highway near Exit 61 Thursday afternoon.

The single-engine ultralight Challenger plane took off from Lufker/Spadaro Airport around 1:30 p.m. One minute later, it had engine trouble, according to Suffolk County Police.

Frank Fierro, the pilot, attempted to return to the airport but could not so he landed on the median. No one was injured in the plane and no one was injured on the ground. The plane was not damaged.

It has been removed from the roadway and trucked over to Lufker Airfield in East Moriches. It is unclear where the aircraft originated from and who was on board.

Brian Forsyth, of Merrick, witnessed the landing. He said the plane landed in the grassy median facing east and that the pilot got out of the plane without help. Forsyth said the pilot appeared to be alone in the plane.

Lou Lurker, the owner of Lufker Airfield, said Fierro who he describes as a friend is a seasoned pilot who worked as a flight instructor for 45 years. Lurker said shortly after takeoff, the engine on Fierro's plane failed.

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