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?
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