A pilot was killed and his passenger injured when a small plane crashed onto railroad tracks on Long Island Sunday morning, police said.
The crash forced the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to shut down service on the Long Island Rail Road at the site in Bethpage for much of the day. Service was restored by 8:30 p.m. Sunday, the MTA said.
The plane took off from Gabreski Airport in Westhampton Beach and was traveling to Morristown, according to Nassau County police spokesman Gary Shapiro. The pilot reported to Republic Airport in Farmingdale that the Beechcraft Bonanza plane was having trouble maintaining altitude.
A short time later, at about 7:45 a.m., the plane's engine stalled and the aircraft struck a railroad crossing signal on South Oyster Bay Road near Aerospace Boulevard. The plane's right wing detached and came to rest on the tracks.
The pilot, whose identity wasn't disclosed, died at the scene, police said. The passenger, 57-year-old Carl Jordano, of New Vernon, N.J., was taken to an area hospital with a broken jaw.
"It sounded like a heavy piece of machinery, a lot of noise," Oyster Bay Councilwoman Rose Walker said. "And then I realized it was a plane, and I thought 'I hope it's not in trouble,' only to find out a short time later that the plane went down."
Video shows firefighters putting out a pile of flaming wreckage on train tracks in Hicksville. The plane appears to be completely obliterated.