Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Cessna 172S Skyhawk, N294ME, Nassau Flyers: Incident occurred January 29, 2018 in Babylon, Suffolk County, New York

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Farmingdale

Aircraft made an emergency landing on the beach. Aircraft inverted upon landing.

Hickory Lane Corp: http://registry.faa.gov/N294ME

Date: 29-JAN-18
Time: 14:20:00Z
Regis#: N294ME
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 172S
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: UNKNOWN
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)
Operation: 91

BABYLON -  A small plane was forced to make an emergency landing Monday on the beach at Robert Moses State Park.

The Cessna 172S Skyhawk was carrying a pilot and two 16-year-old students on an instructional flight when it landed at Field 2. State park officials say everyone was able to get out safely, and the beach was mostly empty at the time.

The plane flipped over on the sand after it landed.

Steve Fratelolo was on his morning walk along the beach and saw the incident unfold.

"I heard a plane and it sounded pretty low," he recalls. A former navigator aboard a B-52 bomber, Fratelolo says he knew there was trouble. He watched the plane struggle to land on the beach.

"They came in level, but the nature of the sand made the nose dip, and when the nose dipped the nose hit the sand and they flipped over," Fratelolo says.

Flight data shows the plane left Republic Airport in Farmingdale just before 9 a.m. and headed south toward the beach.

State park officials say they indicated that they had some sort of mechanical issue. An exact cause hasn't been determined,  but the FAA is now investigating the incident.

According to the tail number of the plane, it is used as a trainer by Nassau Flyers, a flight training company at Republic Airport. It had no comment about the emergency landing.

Story, video and photo:  http://longisland.news12.com

A pilot and two 16-year-old passengers survived unscathed after their small plane made an emergency landing and flipped on the beach at Robert Moses State Park on Monday, officials said.

The pilot was giving the teenagers a flight lesson in the airspace around the park in Babylon when the four-seater Cessna 172 experienced mechanical failure, officials said.

The plane landed along the shoreline and came to a stop upside down on Field 2 about 9:20 a.m.

The aircraft was discovered by the park’s manager while he was on a beach patrol, said George Gorman, deputy regional director of New York State Parks.

“When I got here and saw the plane upside down, I thought ‘thank goodness,’ ” Gorman said. “The pilot landed safely but it could’ve been much worse.”

The park manager reported that the pilot said it was like “slow motion” when the plane flipped, Gorman said.

As the plane taxied on the beach, the moving tires caused the sand to build up and the plane eventually hit the sandy mound, the park official said.

“The combination of the rolling of the plane and the wind in all likelihood flipped the plane,” Gorman said. “ . . . It didn’t smash into the sand and that’s why there weren’t any injuries.

“They opened the door and got out.”

The passengers, a boy and a girl, were taken to Good Samaritan Hospital in West Islip as a precaution because of their ages, officials said.

Hospital spokesman Tim Kelchner said the teens were “perfectly fine” and had been checked out and discharged before 10:30 a.m.

“It’s unbelievable they were able to survive and walk away so easily from that,” Kelchner said.

Officials did not identify the pilot and passengers but a source familiar with the crash confirmed the pilot’s name is Brandon Sax.

The pilot is affiliated with Nassau Flyers, an aviation company based at Republic Airport in East Farmingdale, a representative said. He is 26 and a resident of Port Washington, said his father, Charles Sax.

“I told him, ‘what you did was very heroic, you saved the lives of everyone on the plane including your own’ and he said he just brought the plane down.”

The pilot is affiliated with Nassau Flyers, an aviation company based at Republic Airport in East Farmingdale, a representative said.

Students taking private pilot lessons with Nassau Flyers must be at least 17 years old, but the company also offers other types of flight trainings, according to the flight school’s website. People can earn a student pilot certificate as early as age 16, according to the FAA.

Another flight school at the airport, Hickory Lane Corp., owns the plane and leased it out to Nassau Flyers, CEO Donald Vogel said.

Both Vogel and the Nassau Flyers representative, who declined to give her name, said their companies are fully cooperating in the investigation. They said they could not provide more details.

The airspace over the park is commonly used for recreational flights and flight schools, Gorman said.

The Federal Aviation Administration and State Park Police are investigating the landing.

The plane will be towed from the beach after the FAA concludes its investigation on scene, Gorman said. 

Story, video and photo:  https://www.newsday.com

A small plane flipped in the sand after making an emergency landing on Robert Moses State Park beach on Long Island Monday morning, authorities say. 

The Cessna 172 landed on the beach in Babylon just after 9:15 a.m., according to the Federal Aviation Administration. New York State Parks spokesman George Gorman says the plane landed right side up but the wind flipped the plane over before it came to a stop. 

Officials say an instructor and two junior teen pilots were on board the plane, which had flown out of Republic Airport. 

Witness Steve Fratello was startled when he saw the plane flying low toward the dunes.

"I thought maybe at first they were having a thrill," he said. 

When the got to the plane, the two 16-year-old students -- a boy and a girl -- walked out unfazed, along with their instructor.

"They were incredibly calm," he said. 

One of the students was flying when there was a mechanical issue, and the instructor took over and landed the plane on the beach, officials said. 

"I don't want to say it was a good time for it to land, but in fact, they landed, there was no one on the beach, and no one was injured," said Gorman. 

The two students were taken to Good Samaritan Hospital to be evaluated, and the instructor remained on site to speak to investigators.

The FAA says it's looking into the cause of the mechanical problem. 

Story and video:  https://www.nbcnewyork.com

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