Plane lands safely on interstate

NORTH HUDSON A single-engine private plane safely made an emergency landing on Interstate 87 in North Hudson after developing engine trouble Sept. 3. The landing is considered a tribute to the pilot, a flight instructor from Canada, and the flight school. State police said there were no injuries to the three people on the aircraft. The aircraft did not hit any vehicles during the landing, police said. A truck driver called 911 just after 5 p.m. on his cell phone to report the plane was coming down. The plane, an F-33A Beechcraft Bonanza, belongs to Seneca College, an applied arts and technology school based in Toronto. The incident was turned over to the Federal Aviation Administration for investigation, state police said. The emergency landing prompted authorities to call in the Department of Transportation to set up a detour at Exit 29 to redirect traffic northbound on State Route 9. Flight instructor Michael Denning, 24, landed the plane exactly as he had been trained, according to Dominic Totino, director of academics and operations at the School of Aviation and Flight Technology at Seneca College in Toronto. The college has provided aviation training for 40 years, and this was its first instance of emergency landing, Totino said. Seneca College has 200 students enrolled in the aviation school. The students, whose names have not been released, on the plane with Denning are third-year students enrolled in a four-year program. The crew would have had to make a decision based on assessment of conditions at the time of the occurrence, Robertson said. Landing on the highway was the best decision to reduce risk of injury and damage to persons and property. College administrators said the safe and precise landing was reassuring. It is testimony to the quality of training our students get, Totino said. They followed the way they were taught to land for emergency procedures.

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