A small single engine airplane made an emergency landing on the Major Deegan Expressway this afternoon, shortly after 3 p.m. north of the Mosholu Parkway intersection. It appears that its three passengers were not seriously injured.
The plane, a Piper Cherokee, reportedly left from Danbury, Connecticut for a sightseeing tour around the Statue of Liberty. When it experienced difficulty it landed on the northbound side of the highway, bringing traffic to a halt.
According to the Office of Emergency Management, the Piper Cherokee aircraft departed Danbury, Connecticut on a tour around the Statue of Liberty. On the return flight back to Danbury, the aircraft experienced an on board emergency, resulting in a controlled landing onto the expressway.
The Piper fixed-wing single engine plane is registered to Michael Schwartz of South Salem in Westchester, according to the Federal Aviation Administration website.
Investigators are looking at what caused the landing.
The National Transportation Safety Board said the pilot reported engine trouble prior to landing on the highway.
About 42 gallons of gas was being removed from the plane by emergency responders so it could be removed from the expressway.
Officials said to expect extensive traffic delays and an increased presence of emergency personnel in the area and drivers should consider alternate routes.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said he thought it was a bit of a miracle that no one was seriously hurt.