Small Plane Crashes in Long Island Backyard, Killing Pilot

A small plane bound for MacArthur Airport crashed in the yard of a Long Island home Tuesday, killing the pilot and nearly smashing into a room where a mother was caring for her baby, authorities said.

The pilot, Hanan Shoshany, 53, of Jamaica, Queens, somehow steered the plane between two houses, narrowly missing them both and an exterior heating oil tank before crashing in the yard of a home on Camille Lane in Suffolk County's East Patchogue.

A mother and infant were in the room nearest to where the plane crashed shortly after 9 a.m. The infant slept through the explosion and her mother carried the child away to a neighbor's house.   The impact caused damage to the infant's room and left shattered glass on the floor, but both mother and child were unharmed.

Neighbors are searching for the family's white pitbull, Jezebel, who bolted from the house as the mom scrambled away with the child.

Photos and video from the scene showed pulverized wreckage scattered next to a backyard play set. The pilot was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. No one on the ground was hurt. 

Witnesses said they were startled by the roar of a plane flying so low, followed by a boom upon impact and another explosion that followed. They said the plane obliterated trees as it fell.

"All of a sudden I heard what sounded like a plane coming down," said Chad Widman, who lives nearby. "It was really, really loud and then there was a pause and then there was a loud boom and then another loud boom." 

The fire damaged the house but was quickly put out, authorities said. A two-block radius was evacuated as a precaution.

The FAA said the aircraft was a single-engine Lancair Columbia. It was flying from Republic Airport in East Farmingdale to MacArthur Airport in Islip, the agency said.  The plane crashed just 15 minutes after takeoff.

On Friday, a small plane narrowly missed a house when it crashed north of the city, in Purchase, New York, after taking off from the Westchester County Airport. Richard Rockefeller, the great-grandson of Standard Oil co-founder John D. Rockefeller, was killed.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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