Pilot of vintage World War II plane killed after crashing in Hudson River
Pilot of vintage World War II plane killed after crashing in Hudson River published by Mooba
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Posted on 2016-05-28
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The pilot of a World War II plane was killed after his aircraft crashed into the Hudson River Friday, officials and witnesses said.
The single-seater P-47 Thunderbolt fighter began smoking and listing to one side as it buzzed over the water and went down just south of the Edgewater Marina in Edgewater, N.J., around 7:30 p.m., witnesses said.
“It made kind of a U-turn and then there was a stream of smoke coming from it,” said Siqi Li, 22, a Hunter College student from Manhattan. “It was tilting down toward the water I thought they were doing some sort of trick. I didn’t realize it at first but it was a plane crash.”
The man at the controls of the doomed single engine plane was 56-year-old Bill Gordon, according to the NYPD.
The experienced pilot, originally from upstate Copake, in Columbia County, had spent years as the Chief Pilot of the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome and had recently flown in a show near his new home in Key West, Florida.
Gordon was pulled from the plane around three hours later, police sources said.
“When we found him the canopy was partially opened, it was pulled back,” a police source said. “It look like he tried to escape. We reached in, found the foot and pulled him out.”
The vintage aircraft was with two other planes that departed the American Airpower Museum at Republic Airport in Farmingdale, L.I., on a photo flight, according to museum spokesman Gary Lewi.
The P-47, known as “Jacky’s Revenge,” is registered to Jeff Clyman who declined to comment Friday night, referring all questions to Lewi.
“It suffered some sort of catastrophic failure and the pilot decided to put it down in the Hudson,” Lewi said. “It’s a tragedy.”
Gordon and theP-47 were scheduled to perform at Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach this weekend, Lewi said.
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