Queens Assemblyman Clyde Vanel crashes and lands a small airplane he was piloting on a Long Island beach Friday afternoon in a scary scene that was captured on video.
Vanel told CBS 2 that he and a friend took off in his single-engine Beechcraft from Brookhaven Airport around 2 pm “to practice some maneuvers” in the nice weather.
Suddenly, however, a pleasant day in the skies turned to terror when the plane’s engine lost power.
“Of course I was panicked. I didn’t understand what was going on with the engine,” Vanel said.
But Vanel regained his composure and said that his emergency training kicked in.
“Airspeed, find the best place to land, communicate and then exit,” he said. “The best place for me to land was a small area that had a beach that wasn’t around people, that wasn’t around stuff.”
Only one woman was on the Shoreham beach at the time — Caelyn Canace, who captured the heart-stopping landing on video, obtained by CBS 2.
The dramatic footage shows the plane descending fast before landing on its belly on the sand.
It slides several feet before splashing into the water.
Canace said neither of them appeared to be seriously injured. When speaking with CBS, Vanel only had a small cut under his chin.
“I was like, ‘You guys OK? OK?’ And you could see they’re in shock. We’re all in shock … I think he landed very nicely. I think he did a good job,” Canace told the outlet.
vanel, who went to aviation school and has been flying recreationally for years, said that he’s glad the only casualty was the plane.
“Really blessed that the FAA training program trains folks on what to do during emergency procedures, so if you follow that, chances are you can come out with a good outcome,” Vanel said.
He said he hopes to get back up in the air soon.
The FAA is investigating the crash.