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South Salem Small Plane Pilot Makes Emergency Landing On Deegan

The single-engine plane being moved off the Deegan Expressway after its emergency landing Saturday afternoon, in this photo released by the New York Fire Department. Photo Credit: FDNY
The downed plane on the Major Deegan Expressway Saturday afternoon. Photo Credit: FDNY
Another photo of the single-engine plane after it made an emergency landing. Photo Credit: FDNY

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- A small plane made an emergency landing on the northbound Major Deegan Expressway in the Bronx Saturday afternoon.

The single-engine Piper PA28 Cherokee, which landed near East 233rd Street just south of the Westchester County border at around 3:20 p.m., was piloted by Michael Schwartz from the South Salem hamlet of Lewisboro and carried two other passengers, according to the FAA.

The pilot and two female passengers were en route back to Danbury Airport after they had enjoyed a loop around the Statue of Liberty, according to reports.

One of the female passengers sustained slight head injuries, according to reports. The plane, which came down near the junction of the Moshulu Parkway, sustained minor damage, according to the FAA. No fuel was spilled.

The passengers were reportedly the 50-year-old Schwartz, and women identified as Kristina Terrell and Monica Castillo, ages 43 and 20, according to a New York Post report.

The plane, which was built in 1966 according to reports, was forced to land because of engine complications, 1010 WINS reported.

In an ironic stroke of fortune, a Department of Transportation crew was coincidentally on the scene prior to the forced landing performing a pot-hole repair on the Deegan, according to the report in the New York Post , and supervisor Miguel Lopez said his crew quickly shut down traffic to prevent cars from being in the vicinity.

“The plane hit the ground," Lopez told the New York Post. "It came straight down. It hit the treetops.”

The forced landing led to the closure of that busy and often congested stretch of the Major Deegan in both directions until the southbound side reopened. After the plane was moved off the expressway in the early evening on Saturday, more than two hours after the incident, the northbound side reopened.

You can view video footage of the downed plane posted on YouTube by a motorist driving on the northbound side shortly after the forced landing occurred here.

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