MELVILLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The NTSB and the FAA are investigating what caused a small vintage plane to come crashing down on Long Island.
The came spiraling downward, taking a nose dive into a Melville neighborhood. The pilot, 52-year-old Ken Johansen, a former U.S. Navy pilot and a United Airlines pilot with decades of experience, was killed.READ MORE: Pressure Builds On President Biden's Administration To Loosen International Travel Ban Into The Country
He was flying in formation with other planes when witnesses say his aircraft separated from the rest and took a plunge.READ MORE: Authorities Announce Major Gang Crackdown In Queens, With 28 Arrests
“It was a lot of black smoke and fire,” one witness said. “I was afraid it would spread.”
“Extremely lucky nothing was hit,” Melville Fire Chief David Kaplan said. “Houses are approximately 200 feet from where the airplane went down.”MORE NEWS: Anxiety Grows On Long Island As COVID-19 Cases Increase
The planes Johansen and his colleagues were flying were the same ones spotted over Jones Beach in the annual air show this past weekend.