EAST PATCHOGUE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Investigators were on the scene Tuesday night after a pilot who was killed, when his small plane came down in a Long Island backyard and burst into flames.
As CBS 2’s Jessica Schneider reported, investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board were on the scene late Tuesday night. The crews were trying to determine why the plane went down and burst into flames – narrowly sparing the life of a mother and her baby.
Hanan Shoshany, 53, of Jamaica, Queens, was killed when the plane went down around 9 a.m. near the side of a house on Camille Lane in East Patchogue and burst into flames, CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan reported.
Shoshany’s family has learned of his death and called him “brave and skilled.” The family grieved in New York and Israel, and his rabbi came to the crash site.
Town of Brookhaven spokesman Kevin Molloy said the plane landed between two houses. Photos from the scene posted on social media showed flames and smoke from the wreckage billowing next to a backyard play set.
Neighbors were shocked Tuesday morning, as the horrific scene jarred a quiet morning in suburbia.
“Just having my coffee; I was sitting down at the computer doing my banking when I heard some loud explosions,” said East Patchogue homeowner John Mulligan. “Then I saw an inferno on the other side of the thing, so I just ran out, grabbed the hose, and I started hosing over there.”
“There was no rescue attempt that you could make; there was nothing you could do,” said East Patchogue homeowner John Scileppi. “You could see line of fire just go right towards the house.”
“I looked around and I saw the black smoke come up and then another explosion,” neighbor Bill Hughes told WCBS 880’s Mike Xirinachs. “Then we all ran out the front doors, all our neighbors and tried to help out if we could, but the backyard was an inferno.”
“I looked behind me and I saw flames shooting up,” another witness told CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan.