A plane in Bowline Pond remained submerged yesterday as authorities
continued an investigation into the crash that sent a Manhattan man to
same incident had sent eyes upward when a rocket on the plane exploded
to free a parachute that helped slow the craft's descent to the water.
Reich issued a Mayday and deployed the parachute on his four-seat
Cirrus SR22 airplane at 4:40 p.m. Thursday. He escaped through a window
and the craft quickly sank into the Hudson River cove.
The 50-year-old Reich suffered a fractured vertebra in his back and remained in Nyack Hospital last night, state police said.
police, Haverstraw village police and the Federal Aviation
Administration are leading the investigation. It is the owner's
responsibility to arrange for removal of the plane, state police said.
Reich got help yesterday as authorities worked to assist the effort. It
appeared last night that Town Boat USA of Tarrytown had been approved
by Reich's insurance company to retrieve the plane, said Senior
Investigator Kevin McGrath of the state police.
The hope was to
get a barge and crane to the pond at first light this morning and to
have the plane removed before afternoon, he said.
"We want to get it done as soon as possible," McGrath said.
The plane was leaking gasoline into the water, but a small amount and not enough to raise serious safety concerns, McGrath said.
a precaution, special buoys were placed to prevent any contamination
from entering the intake values at the Bowline Point power plants,
which use water from the river for cooling equipment.
manufacturer, Cirrus Design Corp., sent an accident investigation team
to assist in the recovery effort and aid crash investigators. The team
also will tell recovery workers how best to raise the aircraft.
lifted, the plane will be inspected by the FAA, agency spokeswoman
Holly Baker said. The National Transportation Safety Board may then
step in and take over the probe, she said.
Nerves were still rattled in Haverstraw yesterday, with those who participated in rescue efforts recounting their experiences.
Bunyan of Garnerville and C.J. Rodriguez of Tomkins Cove were getting
ready to start their lifeguard shifts at Haverstraw's Bowline Point
Town Park when they heard, then saw, the plane crash into the pond.
They jumped into the water and swam out to help Reich.
The Haverstraw Fire Department also was summoned by numerous 911 calls about the crash.
Chief Efran "Junior" Castro; his sons, Junior "Baby" Castro and Jose
Castro; and fellow volunteer Rafael Bueno Jr. raced the department's
rescue boat to Reich.
Bueno said yesterday that he threw a life
ring to Reich, who grabbed it and was pulled to the boat. The
firefighters then pulled Reich into the boat and picked up Bunyan and
Rodriguez, who were still swimming toward Reich.
The incident was
surreal, said 23-year-old Bueno, who is assistant village building
inspector and a five-year Fire Department volunteer. He said he prayed
Reich would be all right.
"He's a very lucky man," Bueno said. "God is watching over him. There's a reason he's here today."
said he had to go to Nyack Hospital after the rescue effort because his
heart would not stop racing. He checked on Reich's condition before
"I wasn't worried about me," Bunyan said. "I was worried about the guy."