Sunday, March 5, 2017

Senator Chuck Schumer urges study of New York state small plane crashes

New York Sen. Chuck Schumer is calling on the National Transportation Safety Board to perform an in-depth investigation into the number of recent small plane crashes, the Associated Press reports.

In his letter he reportedly made public, the Democratic Senator cited the Feb. 19 crash in Bayonne that seriously injured a 56-year-old pilot and the Feb. 26 crash that killed two people on Long Island, according to the report. 

In the Bayonne crash, a single engine Piper PA-28 crashed in a residential neighborhood on Avenue E. The pilot, George Pettway, of Long Island, was the only person injured. He was released from the hospital on Wednesday. 

A small plane crashed in a residential neighborhood Sunday morning, injuring the pilot, wrecking cars, and knocking out power to dozens of residents.

The National Transportation Safety Board said in a preliminary report that Pettway reported losing power to the plane while he flew around the Statue of Liberty. 

Schumer is asking the agency to determine why there have been a number of small plane crashes, including 18 in New York last year, and how to prevent similar crashes, the Associated Press reported. 

The National Transportation Safety Board told the Associated Press it would review Schumer's letter once they receive it. 

Story and comments:

Sen. Chuck Schumer holds a photo of last month's small plane crash in Bayonne, New Jersey, during a news conference at his Manhattan office on Sunday, March 5, 2017. The plane originated at Republic Airport in East Farmingdale. 

Sen. Chuck Schumer on Sunday called on federal transportation safety investigators to launch an in-depth study into the state’s spate of small plane crashes — including 10 on Long Island in the past year.

“We’re only a few months into 2017 and already we’ve seen two small plane crashes here in the New York metro area,” Schumer (D-N.Y.) said at a news conference in Manhattan, referring to two incidents involving planes from Long Island’s East End last month.

On Feb. 19, a single-engine Piper PA-28 plane took off from Republic Airport in East Farmingdale, and crashed into a residential area of Bayonne, New Jersey, narrowly missing a home, according to authorities. The pilot suffered minor injuries in the accident.

“The bottom line here is when small planes are crashing smack in the middle of neighborhoods ... you’ve got to start demanding answers,” Schumer said.

In a letter to National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Christopher A. Hart, Schumer, the Senate minority leader, requested that the agency study New York’s small plane accidents over the past year to determine if there are preventable patterns or trends.

Schumer raised concerns about the prevalence of such accidents on Long Island, noting that of the state’s 18 small plane crashes last year, 10 had ties to Long Island.

NTSB spokesman Terry Williams said in a phone interview that the agency would respond to Schumer’s request once it had the opportunity to fully review his letter.

Last year’s accidents were the most Long Island has seen since 2012, when eight small plane crashes were investigated, according to NTSB figures. In 2010 there were 11 crashes investigated, the most in any year since at least 2000, according to the agency’s database.

While Long Island has experienced an uptick in small plane crashes, nationally the number of fatal small plane accidents has dropped from 272 in 2010 to 238 in 2015, according to the most recent figures available from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Michael Canders, director of the Aviation Center at Farmingdale State College, said FAA and NTSB data already indicates that human error is the leading cause of small plane crashes nationally, but said Long Island probably has larger numbers in comparison to the rest of the state because it’s in a “busy airspace” with proximity to New York City.

Read more here:

Schumer wants NTSB to look into spate of small plane crashes

NEW YORK — Sen. Chuck Schumer wants the National Transportation Safety Board to conduct an in-depth investigation of small plane crashes, following two incidents last month and at least 18 crashes in New York last year.

Schumer on Sunday released a letter he wrote to the NTSB. He cited a Feb. 19 crash of a single-engine plane that took off from Long Island and crashed into a neighborhood in Bayonne, New Jersey, as well as a Feb. 26 crash of a plane being used for practice at another Long Island airport. Two people were killed in that crash.

A single engine plane crashed in East Haven on February 22, killing a flight student and critically injuring the flight instructor.

The New York Democrat wants the agency to look into why the small plane crashes are happening and possible additional safety measures. The NTSB said it would review the letter once it’s been received.


No comments: