Wednesday, May 01, 2019

Piper PA-18-105 Super Cub, N294T: Incident occurred August 11, 2019 at Francis S. Gabreski Airport (KFOK), Westhampton Beach, Suffolk County, New York -and- Incident occurred May 01, 2019 in New Dorp, Staten Island, New York

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Farmingdale, New York

August 11, 2019: Aircraft landed and nosed over.

Van Wagner Aerial Media LLC

Date: 11-AUG-19
Time: 18:26:00Z
Regis#: N294T
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA18
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91

Incident occurred May 01, 2019 in Staten Island, New York:

STATEN ISLAND, New York -- Maybe the pilot of a banner-in-the-sky plane was “insured” a safe emergency landing in inclement weather at Miller Field on May 1st.

The 57-year-old pilot, who had a valid license, was flying a fixed-wing, single-engine plane advertising GEICO insurance, according to a law enforcement source.

The man was flying solo in a Piper PA-18 along the shoreline when weather became too foggy and he needed to make an emergency landing for his own safety around 5:40 p.m., according to information supplied by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the law-enforcement source.

“The pilot said that he made a precautionary landing due to deteriorating weather conditions,” an FAA spokesman said.

The aircraft came to a stop near a softball field by the Greeley Avenue side of the park.

The man safely landed the plane without injuring himself or damaging the aircraft, according to information supplied by the FAA and police.

The large banner that the plane was carrying was draped on the grass.

He was flying for Van Wagner Aerial Media in the aircraft that initially departed from Somerset, N.J., according to sources.

Van Wagner did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The company’s website bills itself as the “airplane advertising leader.”

“Van Wagner Aerial Media offers any marketer or individual the opportunity to showcase their messaging over exciting events, cities and beaches - and everywhere else that people gather to enjoy themselves,” the website says. “We are by far the largest, most innovative and most dependable worldwide participant in the airship and airplane advertising businesses.”

The Federal Aviation Administration will investigate, a spokesman said.

he pilot said that he made a precautionary landing due to deteriorating weather conditions. There was no damage to the aircraft and no injuries to the pilot.The National Transportation Safety Board is not investigating, a spokesman said.

“We investigate all crashes that result in fatalities, serious injuries or significant damage to the airframe," a spokesman said. "If there is not a fatality, it can sometimes take a day or so to determine, with the help of FAA personnel on the ground, whether the crash meets our statutory threshold.”

Video posted to by a user shows the dramatic moment that the plane made the landing Wednesday evening.

The video, posted by user Teknotic, shows the plane descending from the sky not far from a group of children playing at the park.

The plane was towed away from New Dorp on Thursday morning. Shortly after 6 a.m., the partially-dismantled plane was carted away on a flatbed tow truck. The wings were separated from the main body of the plane and secured to the rear of the flatbed. The nose of the plane pointed toward the cab.

The tow truck was escorted by an unmarked car with emergency lights flashing through the fog as the vehicles headed up New Dorp Lane and then made a left onto Hylan Boulevard.

People waiting for buses along Hylan stared in amazement at the unusual sight of an airplane traveling on a tow truck.

The owner of the aircraft made arrangements to have it moved by truck to New Jersey from Miller Field, a spokesman for the FAA said.

Original article can be found here ➤

STATEN ISLAND, New York - A plane made an emergency landing at Miller Field in New Dorp Wednesday evening, shocking coaches and youngsters who were minutes away from playing games.

The plane was having some sort of mechanical issues which forced the landing, emergency radio transmissions indicate.

There are no injuries reported at this time.

The landing occurred just after 5:30 p.m., as youth soccer teams were starting to arrive for their evening games.

Witnesses told the Advance there was a coach and just a small number of players on the side of the field where the plane landed.

It came to a stop near a softball field by the Greeley Avenue side of the park.

“It came from the water,” said John Consalvo of New Springville. "He was flying 30 feet in the air and dropped his banner.”

The plane went by New Dorp High School, “and all of a sudden he was coming down like he was landing,” Consalvo said. “We pulled the kids off the field."

The plane landed in the middle of the field and rolled, said another witness, Nick, a Great Kills resident.

“We were at the soccer field and it just came over,” said Nick. "Everyone was looking at it and we were like ‘wow, this is really low.' "

“We just kind of ducked," he said. "He put it down in the grass. It was probably smart. He could have lost the plane and possibly his life.”

Witnesses told the Advance the plane rolled a couple of hundred feet before coming to a stop.

Fortunately, the landing occurred just before the games were about to start -- meaning the field was less crowded than it could have been.

“If he was 15 minutes later, there would have been a real problem,” said Baheer. “There was no one here.”

Original article can be found here ➤


  1. Visibility looks below VFR minimums in the pics. Probably best that he put the plane down when he did.

  2. Banner towing but forgot cowl? Bust be on a tight budget as this looks standard category. Maybe it just came off and he got lucky flying over congested area to advertise.

  3. It's not unusual to banner tow without the cowling. They fly high power settings at low speeds and it helps keep the engine cool.

  4. Most banner airplanes fly without a cowling, as mentioned to keep the engine cool. Also, the engine is bigger and more powerful than stock. Has nothing to do with cost.

  5. When you google image banner towing, Nearly all banner towing planes, except the subject and a champ fly with the cowl intact. Their are some radials that never had cowls also flying. Looking at conditions, I’m guessing carb ice. But he probably did keep from overheating his motor. Lycomings can surprise you once in awhile.

  6. for those who don't know. without the cowling the engine will overheat. word has it he had engine issue and cowling was removed to investigate also visual conditions have zero indication to carb ice. unless that is you can tell tempurature/dew point from pictures alone.

  7. Aircraft did not have cowling when he landed. It wasn't on the aircraft at all.

  8. The aircraft did not have engine issues.
    The pilot encountered fog and made a precautionary landing due to the deteriorating weather conditions for his own safety.

  9. The engine did not overheat in flight.

  10. I thought pilots were suppose to check the weather, including forecasts before they took off. Yes, I'm sure I read that somewhere.

  11. Too bad they couldn't wait a day or so for better WX and just fly it out.

  12. Luckily he was flying a STOL aircraft and was able to use the soccer field rather than having to fly to an airport in the low visibility. All is well that ends well. Pilot & plane live to fly another day + the kids at the soccer field have a cool story to tell their friends at school!


  13. Some of you sound like fiction writers. You have talent.

    The idea of proceeding with banner towing on a day that visibility was so bad the pilot could not make it back VFR to the airport of origin is another example of unnecessary risk-taking.

    The possibility of releasing the steel tow cable of the banner across a live power line and/or landing on a field reserved for child activity does not work out.

    I suspect the FSDO is going to get involved.

    1. The tow rope is rope, not cable. Wouldn't hurt a fly. I fly these

  14. Piper Super Cruiser. Plane was never built with a cowl. See the scoops on the tops of the cylinders.

  15. All PA12 Super Cruisers had cowls, every single of them.

  16. Precautionary? He’s going to wish he had carb ice. Landing in an occupied athletic field instead of obtaining clearance to land at close by airport closed to vfr is not acceptable. With today’s technology, no excuse for a commercial pilot to have this occur. Maybe he was just trying to break the accident chain, and was lucky he not did hurt himself or anyone else. Now airplane in pieces and likely enforcement action.

  17. In the grand scheme enforcement action is still better than killing yourself and possibly others on the ground. I still feel the pilot made the best decision under the circumstances however a thorough weather briefing should have prevented the entire situation in the first place.

  18. Obviously, not getting caught out due to weather is preferred, but commercial aviation is drivin by commerce. If you always hangar the plane because it's not clear skies and 200nm visibility, you don't make money. Im assuming this aircraft didn't have an attitude indicator, potentially no heading indicator, no navaids, maybe no radios... landing in a field is absolutely the right call. The actual video of the landing is posted online, and he put it down in a clear open field. Having been caught out by a bad forecast before, I have a complete understanding of how this sort of event can transpire, great job saving yourself and the plane.

  19. Airplane photos online show that this a/c is "normally" operated without cowling. Obviously the operator perfers that setup, probably for engine temp reasons, and whether it is advisable, or beneficial, or not, would only be known if we had the operating data and maintenance records. But it's his plane and that's the way he likes it. In any case the cowling had nothing to with this incident.