Saturday, July 22, 2017

A Cessna 208 Caravan float plane operated by Tailwind Air Service crashed on the lower East River in New York City after a collapse of left float struts during takeoff

EAST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) -- The FDNY responded to a disabled seaplane in the East River after its pontoon apparently broke.

It happened around 5:35 p.m. near East 20th Street on Friday.

"We have a small child, but it all obviously worked out really well," said Bettina Glenning, a passenger.

They are back on shore and smiling.

"I'm not going tonight anywhere man, I'm going to go have a glass of tequila somewhere!" said Bill Lawrence, a passenger.

They're laughing now because they can. In fact, Bill is a comedy writer. He's the creator of "Scrubs," "Cougar Town" and "Spin City."

They were all safely rescued from their crippled seaplane after the pilot aborted their takeoff on the East River.

"The plane attempted to take-off three times, on the third time they hit the water they injured three struts on the left side of the plane causing the plane to list," said Dep. Asst. Chief Michael Gala, FDNY.

Moments later, nine passengers and the pilot climbed out onto the plane's pontoon and waited to be rescued.

Police and fire department rescue boats were there within minutes. Charlotte Lawrence was on-board with her father.

"Once you knew that we were safe, it was fine, we made a new friend, we were all smiling eventually, but it was scary initially," Charlotte said.

"Comes up hits the water lightly, comes up a little higher and you think, oh are we taking off, it comes down hits the water, when it went up like 20 feet you knew it wasn't going to gently touch the water, so that was a little freaky," Bill said.

The plane was supposed to be headed to East Hampton. What prompted the pilot to abort the takeoff was not immediately clear. Federal authorities are investigating.

But weather on the river was not a factor.

"Today was a beautiful day, it was light winds, we had an outbound current, it was actually nice conditions on the water," said Lt. Joe Grasso, NYPD Harbor Unit.


Ten people, including television producer Bill Lawrence of "Scrubs" and "Spin City" fame, were rescued from a seaplane after it made an emergency landing in the East River on Friday evening, officials said.

An NYPD Harbor Unit boat picked up the ten people, who were wearing life vests and sitting in the plane after it went down in the water, FDNY Deputy Assistant Chief Michael Gala said. Among them were a pilot and nine passengers, including Lawrence, who described the plane as "our plane" in an Instagram post.

Lawrence posted a video of himself aboard the plane as it landed in the river, along with photos of the other passengers, some of whom were sitting on the aircraft's pontoons as they waited to be rescued.

"I don't like this," Lawrence can be heard saying in the video right before the plane hits the water. In the caption for the video, he wrote, "Just landing in the east river. No big deal." The video has since been deleted.


Status: Preliminary
Date: Friday 21 July 2017
Time: 17:30
Cessna 208 Caravan
Operator: Tailwind Air Service
Registration: N802TW
C/n / msn: 20800300
First flight: 1999
Crew: Fatalities: 0 / Occupants:
Passengers: Fatalities: 0 / Occupants:
Total: Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 10
Airplane damage: Unknown
Location: Lower East River, New York, NY ( United States of America)
Phase: Landing (LDG)
Nature: Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport: New York-Marine Air Terminal, NY (QNY), United States of America
Destination airport: East Hampton Airport, NY (HTO/KHTO), United States of America
The aircraft experienced a collapse of left float struts during takeoff attempts from New York Skyports Inc Seaplane Base, on the lower East River in New York City, New York. The floatplane came to rest with the left hand wing tip in the water. The ten occupants onboard were not injured and were rescued. The aircraft was towed to the shore.