plane down
Photo by David Torres.

A vintage plane crashed in the Hudson River near 79th street Friday night.

Update: The plane apparently suffered engine failure, according to the Associated Press. It was from a museum on Long Island, according to the Times.

The plane, a P-47 Thunderbolt, belonged to the American Airpower Museum in Farmingdale, N.Y. It was with two other planes — a P-40 from World War II and a contemporary aircraft — in an area off West 79th Street in Manhattan when it crashed around 7:30 p.m., said Gary Lewi, a spokesman for the museum.

Divers from the New York Police Department recovered the body of the pilot around 10:40. The authorities identified the pilot as William Gordon, 56, of Key West, Fla.

NYPD released the following:

“On May 27, 2016 at 1929 hours, police responded to a report of a plane in distress in the Hudson River, in the vicinity of the 79 Street boat basin, within the confines of the 20 Precinct. Responding emergency workers discovered a small single seat plane submerged in the water. The plane was secured to a harbor launch and rescue divers entered the water in search of the pilot. A 56 year-old male was removed from the water and declared deceased by EMS. The investigation is ongoing.

The identity of the deceased is pending family notification.”

NEWS | 3 comments | permalink
    1. LK says:

      I saw the three vintage planes ( consistent with reports ) heading north past the 84-th street ( building closed the line of sight after that ) right around that time. I’m surprised reports say 79-th street. Other reports placing the crash closer to GW bridge seem to be more plausible. Anybody saw this happen? Condolences to the pilot’s family.

      • RM says:

        I was on the Riverside bike path and saw the whole thing. The plane went into the water almost directly across from the 79th st marina, close to the Jersey side.

        I saw the three planes headed north a bit earlier. This happened as they were headed back south a little later. The other two planes circled for a bit after this one went down.

    2. ScooterStan says:

      This was a DOUBLE tragedy:

      First, the loss of a veteran pilot who obviously loved these WWII prop-driven “Warbirds” that helped the U.S. and allies win that horror. WABC News last night reported he somehow got caught in his seat-belt;

      Second, the loss of one of these unique machines, truly “rare birds”. Many fans say ‘Please don’t risk flying these beauties; keep them well-preserved at various museums, and maybe bring them out for the occasional engine-run-up so fans can once again hear the sound of a radial engine at full throat’!