NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A small plane made an emergency landing near a Staten Island high school, interrupting soccer practice.
The Piper PA-19 plane touched down shortly after 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in Miller Field behind New Dorp High School.
Police said the plane came from 30 miles away in Somerset, New Jersey and was towing a banner. The pilot reported bad weather and fog before coming down.
“He came around this way, he dropped the banner here, and he went by the school,” one witness told CBS2.
“He made a turn around, he flew, he went up a little bit in the air and came back around, and then he decided to come down to landing – feet away from kids playing soccer,” said another witness, John Consalvo.
It may have been too close for comfort, but no one was hurt.
CBS2 asked the pilot – the only person on board – whether he was nervous, and he replied, “no.”
Miller Field used to be an Army airfield. Before it was deactivated in 1969, it was the last grass runway in New York City.
While the plane made a relatively smooth landing, it was shocking to those who know the field as a much different place.
“I was sitting in my car and I saw a plane coming by the water, and it was flying very low, looked like it was having problems trying to steer,” Consalvo said. “I just was sitting there mesmerized.”
The Federal Aviation Administration is now investigating.