A pilot returning from a tour around the Statue of Liberty was forced to make an emergency landing on the Major Deegan Expressway in the Bronx on Saturday afternoon when his 1966 single-engine Piper lost power.
Michael Schwartz, 50, and his passengers — two women, aged 43 and 20 — were taken to a local hospital following the landing with injuries that were not deemed life-threatening.
The safe landing can largely be attributed to Department of Transportation worker Miguel Lopez and his pothole crew, who used their vehicles to stop traffic when they noticed the plane descending. With the roadway clear, Schwartz was able to glide onto the expressway, where his landing gear collapsed under pressure. The plane finally skidded to a halt after about 100 yards, according to an Assistant Deputy Fire Chief.
Not impressed by Schwartz’s heroics: The women in his life. Reached at her home in Las Vegas, Schwartz’s mother offered the following hilariously unsympathetic comment to LoHud:
“What a terrible day to fly,” Barbara Schwartz said. “It’s cold and miserable.”
Yeah, the weather was pretty terrible over the weekend. But nothing was more frigid than Schwartz’s wife’s reaction to the incident:
Reached Saturday evening, Michael Schwartz’s wife, Giovanna, said she had just learned of the landing. She said she was not on the aircraft and declined further comment.
“Why don’t you ask him?” she said. “I’m sure he would be happy to tell you.”