By Halston Media Staff

YORKTOWN, N.Y. – In the early afternoon of June 29, first responders were notified of the crash of a single manned aircraft at the Shrub Oak International School located at 3151 Stony Street. 

The first call reporting the incident got to the Yorktown Police Department at 12:09 p.m., according to Police Chief Robert Noble. The call was made by a member of the public who witnessed that the “small plane had crashed.”

The pilot, the plane’s sole occupant, is a 66-year-old resident of Tuckahoe, NY who was flying from the Westchester County Airport in White Plains, NY to the Orange County Airport in Montgomery, NY. 

The crash has been attributed to mechanical difficulties which affected the plane’s ability to maintain or gain altitude.

The pilot was attempting to fly the single engine Cessna plane back to Westchester County Airport when the mechanical issues began, making it necessary for the pilot to find a safe place to make a hard landing. He was conscious, alert, and suffered only minor injuries, according to police. 

The pilot’s identity has been withheld by officials at this time due to a lack of confirmation that family members have been notified.

Members of the Yorktown Police Department responded within minutes and recommended placing the school on lockout, according to police. 

A fuel leak coming from the plane resulted in Mohegan Lake Professional and Volunteer Fire Department being dispatched. Mohegan Lake Volunteer Ambulance Corps and Empress Paramedics were also dispatched to treat the pilot, according to police. 

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) were both notified of the plane crash. Investigators of the Yorktown Police Department verified with the Westchester County Airport and the FAA that the flight was scheduled, according to police. Investigators determined that there was “no criminality or anything suspicious” associated with the hard landing. 

The scene was turned over to Chief Eade and the Lake Mohegan Professional Firefighters for the overall removal of the aircraft and the overseeing of the fuel leak remediation efforts. The Westchester Department of Emergency Services, Westchester County Department of Public Safety and New York State Troopers also aided at the scene. 

Lifting the school lockout was suggested to the staff at the Shrub Oak International School.

“It was a decent ending to what could’ve been a tragic situation,” said Town Supervisor Tom Diana. “It was a small single engine plane experiencing problems in the air and the pilot notified tower control that he was having difficulties with the aircraft and was looking for a large field to land. That field became the front field of the International School. I want to thank and acknowledge all of our first responders who arrived immediately on scene.”

The pilot was transported to Westchester Medical Center for observation and treatment for his injuries. According to police, further investigation into this incident will be turned over to the NTSB and FAA.