Skip to comments.Four Dead After Plane Crashes on Beach in Coney Island
Posted on 05/21/2005 2:42:09 PM PDT by Pharmboy
NEW YORK (AP) - A small plane on a sightseeing tour over Coney Island went into a tailspin and slammed into the famous beach Sunday, killing all four people aboard but injuring none of the stunned sunbathers who witnessed the crash. The victims died at the scene of the afternoon crash of the Cessna 172S, Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Holly Baker said. There were relatively few people on the beach at the time, and no one on the ground was hurt.
Eyewitnesses said the plane was circling above the Brooklyn beach when its engine suddenly stalled, and the aircraft quickly plunged into the beach. The pilot tried desperately to right the four-year-old plane after it went into a tailspin, said Herbert Lecler, 51, who was fishing on the beach.
"He couldn't, and he bounced on that beach," Lecler said.
Joshua McCabe, a registered nurse visiting from San Diego, was eating inside Nathan's Famous hot dog restaurant when he heard the crash. McCabe and another witness rushed to the scene, where they found the pilot already dead and a female passenger barely alive.
Within seconds, he said, "she wasn't breathing and then she lost her pulse."
Dick Zigun, a longtime Coney Island resident who was at the crash site, said it looked like the plane had come down nose-first. Several sunbathers were on the beach at the time, although the crowd was sparse, he said.
"The wings are broken off, and the cockpit glass was smashed up," Zigun said. "It didn't look like anyone could survive that."
Police and fire officials moved quickly to close off the beach after the crash. Dozens of people were gathered along the boardwalk staring out at the wreckage.
The crash occurred within sight of the Wonder Wheel attraction at the world-renowned beach, home to the Cyclone rollercoaster and the Astroland amusement park. The plane hit the beach near KeySpan Park, a minor league baseball stadium.
The pilot was a New York City resident, while the other three victims were visiting from the South and were on a sightseeing tour for aspiring pilots, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at a news conference.
"Obviously something went tragically wrong, and four people are dead," Bloomberg said. "We should be glad there are not more."
None of the victims were immediately identified, pending notification of their families.
The cause of the crash was unknown, and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate. The plane was registered to RJ Ventures LLC of Paramus, N.J.
Associated Press Writer Larry McShane contributed to this story.
Ping...I remember watching the Blue Angels perform at that site when I was a kid.
No engine power...OK, but NO GLIDE SLOPE???
Engines failure does not make an airplane suddenly plunge.
You maintain best glide speed and put her down as best you can.
Stalling the wing and entering an inadvertant spin does make an airplane "plunge". and with not enough altitude to recover usually fatal.
Have to wait and see what the NTSB report will say.
Initial news reports are usually not very helpful in what the causes are.
On July 31, 1973, I was an innocent 11-year-old riding my bike on a foggy summer morning. I lived in Revere, MA at the time, directly under the flight path of incoming jets to nearby Logan Airport. Little did I know that at the time of my bike ride, a doomed Delta Airlines plane was flying just 1,000 feet over my head. It crashed seconds later killing all 88 on board (though one took nearly a week to die).
I'm so happy, I'm singing and dancing.
Bloomberg has a New York State of mind, that's for sure.
Some airspeed might have helped.
Ideas, altitude, airspeed. More of any of these three probably would have helped.
tricky thing to try and glide in windy conditions..
now let's try and calculate glide slope of a small plane..... 1 foot forward/ 4 feet down.... or like an Osprey... 1 foot forward/5000 ft down... splat!
That's the first thing I wondered. I wonder what their speed and altitude was.
Looking at this a little closer.....
1 pilot and 3 passengers (if all adults) may have put this aircraft overweight or outside its proper center of gravity, raisings its stall speed, and making it harder to recover from stalling the wing or possible impossible to recover from a stall. Just having four seats does not mean you can carry four people. Realistically its a 3 seater. Stall refers to the wing and not engine, you must maintain airpseed above stall speed or she wont fly anymore. Sightseeing is something you may likely be doing slow flight. Slow flight is something that is practiced by pilots but you are getting much closer to the stall speed of the wing. But if you are overweight and outside the center of gravity envelope, stall the wing, things could end up like what happened here.
My guess is he was in a tight turn and stalled. He was then looking at the beach at a low altitude and pulled the throttle back. No way to recover. Out of airspeed, altitude and ideas at the same time.
You read my mind.
You're confising the Osprey with the CH-46. Osprey has a 3500 fpm descent rate, glide ration of 4.6, and a glide slope of 12 degrees. In other words, it actually can glide, unlike the CH-46 it's supposed to replace.
When in doubt, firewall the throttle. :)
Good guess. He also might have had a CG too far aft. A couple of fat-a$$es in the back seat would do that.
L/D ratio of the Osprey is 1/8, Einstein. Better to be thought of as a fool than to open ones mouth and remove all doubt.
Pilot error, which was the cause of the April 2000 crash in Marana and which played a major role in the December 2000 crash outside New River, will probably have played a role in this Skyhawk crash as well.
Different situation but that's what the Air Florida jocks should have done. They would have flown out of it instead of hitting the Potomac.
sad, but... how does a guy fishing on the beach know what the pilot did or did not attempt, and whether he was desperate in so doing or not doing?
This is bookmarked to see what the NTSB says in a couple of weeks.
I think about all the kids who will have that image in their heads for a long time.
The NTSB doesn't have much on reports before the early 80's but what they do have says to me, the crew got way behind the aircraft. Were you close enough to hear the crash?
Common sense reactions such as full throttle makes a spin harder to get out of, as does pulling back the yoke. A Cessna 172 has very good spin recovery ability if not aggravated. It's actually hard to keep it in a spin, assuming you've got 1,000 feet of altitude. It's one of the very few airplanes that spin practice is allowed in. But like full throttle, passengers in the back flatten the spin making it harder to recover from.
Are any of you old egough to remember the big Blue Whale they brought to display behind Nathans?
It was embalmed and on a flatbed trailer, had a "carny" type show.
The thing stunk like hell in the summer heat, then one day the thing caught fire, almost took Nathens with it.
I remember seeing the Thunderbirds flying StrightWing F-84 just before they trans. to the F-100.
Also the Blues were flying Grumman F11F-1 Tigers.
Damn I'm old!
That sounds really strange :-)
What? The part about the whale or me being REALLY OLD ?
The part about the whale :-)
That's better !!!
FOX NEWS covering this now
I remember this well because my father worked at the airport at the time as a ramp worker and his picture was in the newspaper the next day as one of many standing around the crash site. This happened on runway 4E which was only about three or four miles from my house. Over in Winthrop (next town over) you can actually see 4E across the water and the planes come a couple hundred feet over your head. Still an awesome sight. I used to take my kids out to Winthrop all the time to see the planes come in.
Yep--an really dumb remark by bloomin' idjyot.
I know nothing about flying but I had always thought that a stall related to airspeed and wings. Thanks.
I have known of many similar accidents in Cessna 172s where the aircraft was just rolled up in a ball of tinfoil. OTOH, I had a friend who survived TWO crashes in Stinsons in which the plane wound up upside down, but all walked away unharmed. The good old steel tube fuselage cage could take a lot of crash impact safely, but it wasn't suited to "mass production". Besides that, Stinsons are a joy to fly compared to any Cessna product I have ever had my hands on. Just MHO.
Sounds like the Viper glides a wee bit better than that Osprey. That's if a 30k Lb. metal cinder block on a parabolic path - the path being slightly altered due to the wings that are attached to the cinder block - can be called gliding.
Quite often in these circumstances, accident investigators discover the yoke bent backwards (or the wheel sometimes actually pulled off). Do you know why that is?
That's because when one encounters a stall, one suddenly begins to feel like they're falling backwards (nevermind your instruments are telling you you have forward airspeed). What's the most natural human reaction to such a feeling? And what's the closest thing to a pilot that'll satisfy that urge?
Every eye witness said the same thing. The plane was circling over the beach for nearly 30 minutes when it suddenly nosed down and into the beach.
We don't call him Blooming-idiot for nothing.
"We should be glad there are not more," said New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
No, mister illiterate public servant, there is nothing here to be glad about.
Say, instead, "It is fortunate there were not more."
During level flight, at the first indication of a stall, the pitch attitude and AOA must be decreased positively and IMMEDIATELY. The basic cause of a level flight stall is always an excessive angle of attack, the cause must eliminated by releasing the back elevator pressure, or by moving the elevator control forward.
During climb, the maximum allowable power should be applied to increase the airplane's speed and assist in reducing the wing's angle of attack. Generally, the throttle should be promptly, but smoothly, advanced to the maximum allowable position. The throttle movement should be coordinated and concurrent with releasing either back elevator pressure, or moving the elevator control forward.
Stalls during decent require restablishment of control to level flight through coordinated use of all flight controls.
Stalls during banking require use of the rudder. To the left, relax the rudder, to the right, add rudder and opposite aileron. If one goes further than 10 deg. one starts looking at the cross-control stall correction. Add some power and get into a 30 deg. bank. Suddenly the stall spin possibilities are increased. Proper rudder application during a banking stall is proven when the stall break is straight ahead without any wing drop. Application of aileron during such stall is counterproductive in that it furthers wing stall and causes it to drop.
Wonder if he thought he was going to land in the ocean and tried to bring it up short on the beach.
Some people still believe in God. You give gratitude to God.
At least we've gone through 40+ posts without anyone suggesting it was terrorism, so I guess we have returned to normal.
Old Tin Ear Bloomberg at it again.
It's hard to autorotate when your rotors have come to a screeching halt instead of rotating freely. It's also hard to autorotate when the contrarotating rotors *aren't*. Both are problems with the CH-46 and reasons why the bird kills so many Marines.
The acronym "PARE" keeps it in quick access in my brain. I have had some spin training years ago. The key is to have the "spider-sense" tingling before it even happens and avoid it all together. Have an out, err on the side of caution everytime. Give yourself a buffer and stack the cards on your side.
2. Ailerons--Neutralize (& Flaps "up").
3. Rudder--Apply fully opposite to the direction of yaw.
4. Elevator--Push through neutral.
Hold These Inputs Until Rotation Stops, Then:
6. Elevator--Easy pull to straight and level.
Yes, very sad, but it would have been horrible on Memorial Day or July Fourth.
thats what happened,, he was going too slowly with not enough altitude,, didn't want to belly land in the ocean and dipped his wing towards the beach and that put the plane into a no recover spin,, alll the way around an idiot pilot killed 3 other people in the safest airplane flying,,,,,,,,