Long Island

Mayday Call Issued Before Deadly Long Island Plane Crash

Authorities said the plane was trying to land after the pilot reported smoke in the cockpit

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A small plane trying to return to a suburban Long Island airport after the pilot reported smoke in the cockpit crashed on Sunday, killing one person and critically injuring the two others aboard, officials said.

The Piper PA 28 crashed in North Lindenhurst around 3 p.m., just short of its destination of Republic Airport in Farmingdale, the Federal Aviation Administration said. The airport is roughly 20 miles east of New York City.

Suffolk County Police said the single-engine plane had taken off from the same airport at 2:18 p.m. and the pilot issued a mayday signal a short time later, indicating there was smoke in the cockpit.

The statement said the plane had turned back toward the airport to make an emergency landing but crashed at 2:58 p.m. near an intersection in North Lindenhurst not far from the Long Island Rail Road track.

One person was pronounced dead at the scene and the two others were taken by medevac helicopter to an area hospital in critical condition, said the statement released by the police department's commissioner, Rodney K. Harrison.

The plane crashed into an area of trees and brush, said Babylon Town Supervisor Rich Schaffer.

“It crashed in a wooded area off of the Long Island Railroad tracks. It’s like a buffer that runs along the tracks,” he said.

Schaffer said the plane gave a “mayday” call over the radio before crashing.

Smoke from a small plane crash in North Lindenhurst, New York.
Chris Baldassano
Smoke from a small plane crash in North Lindenhurst, New York.

A police helicopter flew the two injured fliers to Stony Brook Hospital.

Photos shared to social media show black smoke rising from the suspected crash site behind homes in the suburban community.

The FAA and NTSB will investigate the crash, including what caused the plane to go down.

Investigators are looking into a single-engine crash just short of Republic Airport in Farmingdale.
Copyright NBC New York/Associated Press
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