A Long Island pilot escaped serious injury Saturday when he crash-landed his single-engine plane in the waters just off the Rhode Island coast to avoid people on the beach.
Alexander Piekarski, 62, of East Moriches, was flying alone from New York's Long Island to Taunton, Massachusetts, when his four-seat Beech Craft Bonanza began losing power, said Rhode Island state police. It happened shortly before 1 p.m.
Piekarski tried heading to Westerly Airport but made an emergency landing in the waters off Inn Beach when he started losing altitude.
He got out of the plane before it sank and was helped back to shore by two lifeguards, state police said. He was taken to a hospital and treated for injuries that weren't life-threatening.
Federal aviation and transportation authorities are investigating.