The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash of a small plane on Long Island that killed its pilot, a Queens man. NY1's Michael Herzenberg filed the following report.
Minutes after takeoff from Farmingdale, the pilot of a single engine plane, Hanan Shoshany, headed to Ronkonkoma radioed air traffic control.
"Departure from Farmingdale, uh, I need your help, sir," Shoshany said. "I don’t have visibility."
"OK, are you declaring an emergency?" the air traffic controller responded.
"I will go back to FRG," Shoshany said.
Shoshany only made it to East Patchogue.
Area residents heard the crash Tuesday morning.
"Honest to God, it was like a bomb," said one resident.
"Bombs. I thought World War III in all honesty," another neighbor said.
The recreational pilot landed in between two homes; one of them caught fire. The mother and child inside the house were uninjured.
"He did an awesome job. He avoided hitting the house. He went in between two houses
and he took the plane down," another neighbor said.
The nephew of the pilot, Tomer Tal, says his family is relieved no one else was hurt.
"Just an angel, an angel," said Tal.
Dozens of people spent hours at Shoshany's house in Jamaica Estates Tuesday.
The 53-year-old leaves behind a wife, five children and two grandchildren. His youngest was getting ready for senior prom when she heard the news.
"It's very hard—very, very hard," Tal said.
Shoshany moved here from Israel 35 years ago.
Family members are working with federal authorities to try to get his remains released, so they can bury him in Tel Aviv.