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Small plane lands on Southern State Parkway on Long Island

FAA investigating small plane landing on Southern State Parkway
FAA investigating small plane landing on Southern State Parkway 02:14

BABYLON, N.Y. -- New York State Police said a small plane landed on the Southern State Parkway late Tuesday morning.

It happened just before noon in Farmingdale, right outside of Republic Airport.

It was a sight to behold -- two aboard a single-engine plane crash-landing on the Southern State Parkway near Exit 33 and Route 109, narrowly missing a Long Island Rail Road bridge and dozens of vehicles in multiple lanes of traffic.

The pilot reported engine failure around 11:40 a.m. while on approach, returning to the airport.

"The plane took off from Republic Airport at approximately 9:56 a.m. this morning and was en route back to Republic Airport at the time that the plane crashed," New York State Police Capt. Robert Orth said. "At this time, we'll work with NTSB, FAA and New York State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation to determine the cause of plane crash ... Both occupants are being treated at local hospitals for what we believe to be minor injuries."

Ambulances, state police and other emergency vehicles filled with first responders closed off the area.

Watch Chopper 2 over the scene

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Posted by CBS New York on Tuesday, February 20, 2024

The curious and the frightened raced to the parkway. Others jumped out of their cars in disbelief.

"We saw the helicopters up in the air, and we were like, whoa, something's going on, hopefully everything's OK. And then we see there's a plane," one person said.

"That's terrifying. I really, I hope they're good," another person said.

"It's a miracle that no one was injured, either on the ground or from the aircraft itself," another person said.

Records show the 1975 Piper was inspected and certified for flying Dec. 7 and is registered to Aptum Aviation, out of a Hicksville home. No one answered the door, but told us over the phone that the plane's owner declined comment at this time.

Dash cam video shows plane making emergency landing on L.I. parkway 00:46

Bay Shore resident Jason Campbell caught the landing on his dash cam.

"It was a moment of panic, seeing the plane come over. From my standpoint, I saw it come over the trees on the side of the highway and just kind of situation itself to land right on the parkway," he said. "It all kind of happened so quick, I don't think anyobdy else really had a chance to react. On my side, traffic just kind of kept moving."

Some in the aviation industry appeared awestruck at the landing on the parkway.

"I came down to take a peek, like everyone else," private pilot John Maloney said.

"As a pilot, how difficult do you think it was for him to maneuver around the traffic and land on the side of the road?" CBS New York's Jennifer McLogan asked.

"Very difficult with that bridge there and the trees," Maloney said.

The cause is under investigation, but the plane may have been leaking oil.

The pilot was being interviewed in the hospital.

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