Pilot's Body Recovered in River Crash

Vintage jet crashes in Hudson River upstate

State police divers have recovered a pilot's body from the cockpit of a vintage military jet that crashed into ice on the Hudson River near a Kingston airport.

The body of 38-year-old Michael Faraldi, a podiatrist from Germantown, was removed around 3 p.m. Sunday,  said Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Holly Baker. She says the aircraft was being  lifted onto a barge.

Divers had returned to the water Sunday morning to look for Faraldi.  He was alone in the plane, which is flown in air shows, officials said.
The accident happened at about 1:30 p.m. Saturday near the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge, which spans the river midway between Albany and New York City.
Faraldi was piloting the plane from Nashville, Tenn., to an airport in Ghent, N.Y., state police said.
The jet, a British-made BAC 167 Strikemaster, was headed to Kingston-Ulster Airport from an airfield Johnstown, Pa., when it went down, the Federal Aviation Administration said.
Divers searching the river Saturday for signs of Faraldi discovered that the front section of the plane, including the cockpit, had struck the river bed in about 5 feet of water, police said.

The FAA"s Baker said the aircraft was  partially submerged after the crash.  It made a low pass over the airstrip before hitting the river.     

There was no immediate word on whether the pilot reported any problems before the crash.
The jet was a type of training and light attack aircraft first made in the late 1960s and used by various air defense forces in the Middle East, Africa, South America and elsewhere. In recent years, it was owned by Dragon Aviation, a company that flies fighter jets in air shows all over the country.  

A snarling green dragon adorned the jet's nose.
``This has got to be a bad dream,'' said the company's president, Andy Anderson, as he traveled to the crash scene  Saturday afternoon. He said the pilot, was ``a good, good friend.''    

A person who answered the phone Saturday at Kingston-Ulster Airport said he couldn't answer any questions. The airstrip predominantly serves recreational aircraft and is home to a flying school. It sits just a few hundred yards from the river.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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