New details of a Long Island plane crash last week revealed that an air traffic controller directed the pilot to a landing strip that no longer existed at a closed airport, according to reports. This occurred moments before the single-engine aircraft crashed in the railroad tracks between Hicksville and Bethpage, leaving one person dead and another injured.
Pilot Joseph Milo, 59, of Westhampton Beach, reported on Aug. 16 that his plane was experiencing difficulty and he needed to land. According to reports, the air traffic controller gave Milo information about the locations of Republic, LaGuardia, John F. Kennedy and Westchester airports.
The pilot told the controller that he would try to reach Republic, but was concerned he might not make it there. The controller proceeded to provide information about a landing strip in Bethpage, which used to the be the site of a former airport associated with Northrup Grumman, the defense contractor. The controller indicated that the airport was closed but there was still a runway there.
“The next several transmissions between the controller and pilot revealed that the pilot was unable to see the runway,” according to the National Transportation Safety Board. The crash occurred about a quarter-mile from the former runway. An investigation found that there are industrial buildings that covered the runway, which had been closed for decades.
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