Queens Assemblyman Clyde Vanel crash-landed a small airplane he was piloting on a Long Island beach on Friday afternoon.
Vanel and a friend had taken off in his single-engine Beechcraft from Brookhaven Airport around 2 p.m. to “practice some maneuvers” in the nice weather. However, a pleasant day in the skies turned to terror when the plane’s engine lost power.
Beechcraft Crash-Lands on Shoreham Beach After Losing Power
Vanel recounted the experience to CBS 2, saying, “Of course, I was panicked. I didn’t understand what was going on with the engine.”
However, he regained his composure and followed his emergency training: “Airspeed, find the best place to land, communicate, and then exit.” Vanel identified a small area on the Shoreham beach that was clear of people and objects as the best place to land.
Video Captures Assemblyman Vanel’s Plane Landing on Beach
The plane’s dramatic crash-landing was captured on video by Caelyn Canace, the only person on the beach at the time. The footage shows the plane descending quickly before landing on its belly on the sand and sliding several feet before splashing into the water.
Canace confirmed that neither Vanel nor his friend appeared to be seriously injured, with Vanel only having a small cut under his chin.
Vanel Hopes to Get Back in the Air Soon
Vanel, who has been flying recreationally for years and went to aviation school, expressed gratitude that the FAA training program had prepared him for emergencies.
He said, “Really blessed that the FAA training program trains folks on what to do during emergency procedures, so if you follow that, chances are you can come out with a good outcome.” Despite the crash, Vanel hopes to get back up in the air soon. The FAA is investigating the incident.
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