Engine Failure Reported By Witnesses
Update 0030: The pilot of the plane was identified as
Endrew F. Allen, 34, of Jamaica. He was employed as a flight
instructor with Air Fleet Training Systems Inc., with locations in
Teterboro and Linden, NJ. He was qualified to instruct in single
and multi-engine aircraft, and had logged over 1,800 flight
The aircraft had departed Linden on a "Discovery flight"
with three passengers from West Virginia. Police identified the
male passenger as Courtney Block, 38, of Benwood. The female
passengers were Danielle Block, 18, of Benwood and Joel-Beth Marie
Gross, 18, of McMechen.
A sunny afternoon at Coney Island was shattered along with the
lives of four on board as a Cessna Skyhawk fell onto the beach at
approximately 1330 Saturday. No injuries were reported to the few
sunbathers on the beach.
Witnesses reported that the 2001 Cessna 172S (N778LP) was
circling above Coney island when the engine stalled.
Herbert Lecler, who was fishing on the beach, told the AP that
the pilot tried to right the airplane after 'it went into a
tailspin,' but, "He couldn't, and he bounced on that beach."
Joshua McCabe, a registered nurse, was visiting from San Diego.
He heard the crash and rushed over to the aircraft. Unfortunately,
the pilot was already dead and a female passenger was just barely
alive. He told the AP that within seconds, "she wasn't breathing
and then she lost her pulse."
The aircraft is registered to to RJ Ventures LLC of Paramus,
N.J. None of the victims have been identified to the public. (File
The aircraft remained on the beach about halfway between the
ocean and the boardwalk with police and fire officials at the
location. The beach was closed after the crash, but dozens of
people watched the scene from the boardwalk.
The plane crashed onto the beach near West 19th Street, near
KeySpan Park, a minor league baseball stadium.