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Plane Makes Emergency Landing On Sunrise Highway Median In East Moriches

Plane lands on Sunrise Highway on July 10, 2014. (credit: Sophia Hall/WCBS 880)

Plane lands on Sunrise Highway on July 10, 2014. (credit: Sophia Hall/WCBS 880)

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EAST MORICHES, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) – No one was hurt when a single-engine plane made an emergency landing on the grassy median of a Long Island highway Thursday.

The ultralight Challenger plane experienced engine trouble about a minute after taking off from Lufker/Spadaro Airport in East Moriches around 1:30 p.m., police said.

Pilot Frank Fierro realized the plane wouldn’t make it back to the airport and decided to land it on the median between the eastbound and westbound lanes of Sunrise Highway near exit 61, police said.

Plane Makes Emergency Landing On Sunrise Highway Median In East Moriches

plane lands on sunrise highway Plane Makes Emergency Landing On Sunrise Highway Median In East Moriches
Sophia Hall reports

The bright yellow plane was not damaged and was towed to nearby Spadaro Airport.

“No time were any motorists in danger,” Suffolk County Police Sgt. George Hodge told reporters, including WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall. “The pilot was never over actually a travel lane of Sunrise Highway.”

Police told Hall the pilot, who is in his mid 70s, has been licensed since 1956 and his wealth of experience likely helped him land safely.

Authorities said that because of a quick response, there were only limited traffic delays on the highway.

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