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Pilot makes emergency landing on major New York highway

By Mason White 5:30 PM January 6, 2014
The scene of the emergency landing 

By: Moses Gold
(Scroll down for video) A quick thinking pilot made an emergency landing on a busy New York highway on Saturday.

“Mayday, we’re losing engine power,” Michael Schwartz told air traffic controllers shortly before he made ​​the emergency landing.

Schwartz, 50, of South Salem, and his two passengers, Monica Castillo, 20, of Delaware, and Kristina Terrell, 43, of Connecticut, were returning to Danbury Municipal Airport in Connecticut, after taking a tour of the Statue of Liberty, when the engine on the four-seat plane began to fail.

The pilot called air traffic control to ask for an emergency landing.

Air traffic control suggested LaGuardia Airport.

“I’m never going to make it, where do I touch down?” Schwartz asked.

The operator told him that he should try to land in the Van Cortlandt Park, which is about 1,100 acres.

“I’m less than 1,000 meters,” the pilot informed before he was forced to land on the Major Deegan Expressway in the middle of the afternoon.

No cars were affected when the airplane landed at 3:20 p.m. on the north side of the Major Deegan Expressway in the Bronx.

Officials said that the three were lucky to survive the landing.

“There are light poles that are in the middle of the road, dividers, moving cars and icy pavement, all of these factors worked against him. The fact that he was able to land with no major structural damage to the aircraft and no injuries is A + on his part,” an expert said.