The pilot of the plane crash in North Lindenhurst, Long Island, has been identified. The crash killed a 33-year-old mother and her 63-year-old mother, and injured their daughter. (WABC)
Officials state that Fayzul Chowdhury, a 23-year-old, was operating the flight.
The aircraft collided near Fiffh Street and North Wellwood Avenue in Lindenhurst while approaching Republic Airport in Farmingdale on Sunday afternoon.
According to the FAA, the aircraft departed from Republic Airport for a scenic excursion.
Shortly after, Chowdhury transmitted a distress signal and reported the presence of smoke in the aircraft’s cockpit.
The aircraft turned back towards the airport to make an emergency landing but crashed about 300 feet south of the nearby LIRR tracks.
A pilot on the ATC radio recording stated, “I believe they’re attempting to assist them. I observe individuals sprinting. The plane is utterly annihilated and engulfed in flames.”
As per a lawyer representing a flight training center at Republic Airport, the aviator is a licensed and accredited flight teacher hailing from the Bronx.
He sustained injuries to 75% of his body in the form of burns.
The two passengers were Roma Gupta of Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, a 63-year-old mother, and her 33-year-old daughter, Reeva Gupta. They purchased tickets for the tour via Groupon.
The lawyer stated that the aircraft recently underwent a 100-hour examination.
Gupta Roma was declared dead at the scene. They were in critical condition and were transported to Stony Brook University Hospital via helicopter. Gupta Reeva and Chowdhury remained there.
Eyewitness News interviewed neighbor Chris Baldassano, who captured a video of his neighborhood following the collision.
Within his residence, he genuinely experienced the force and not solely perceived the collision, but he remarked that the collision occurred in such close proximity to his dwelling.
Baldassano exclaimed, “I saw smoke and a fireball, so I quickly ran to the front of the house.” “To ensure everyone was safe, we made sure to evacuate all the houses in the block and ran outside.”
Baldassano believes the aircraft grazed the row of trees that runs alongside the railway tracks prior to the collision.
Plane components are scattered in the backyard, with one house still cordoned off. The visibility was poor due to the thick smoke, and there was wreckage strewn all around from the aircraft.
Residents in the vicinity express alarm over the proximity of planes to their residences, fearing a potential collision with their houses.
And they claim recently the aircrafts are becoming larger and flying at lower altitudes.
Kellie Watson stated that the airplanes soar at such a reduced height during their descent towards the airport that it induces vibrations in her residence.
Watson exclaimed, “We witnessed a pair of detonations just moments ago. The house trembled vigorously, causing significant distress. Indeed, it was quite alarming. As we gazed out of the window, we observed one explosion followed by my husband’s panicked shout. Without delay, we rushed to the living room. Remarkably, he was not even able to foresee the occurrence of another substantial explosion.”
When she stepped out of her home after the crash, she said she could hear one of the victims screaming frantically.
The pilot was alert and conscious when first responders arrived and was able to tell them how many people were on board.
The crash is being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board to determine the possible cause.