Pilot, 56, killed after vintage WWII fighter plane crashes on the Hudson River near George Washington Bridge – Charles D’Alberto

  • William Gordon was trying to crash land the P-47 Thunderbolt plane 
  • His body was recovered from plane three hours after it crashed on Friday 
  • NJ State Police inaccurately reported the pilot was rescued
  • It was scheduled to perform this weekend in honor of Fleet Week  
  • Plane still submerged, Coast Guard and NYPD Harbor units on the scene  

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Pilot killed after vintage WWII fighter plane crashes into Hudson River | Daily Mail Online

New Jersey State Police had first inaccurately reported that the pilot had been rescued around 9pm and only suffered minor injuries, according to the NYPD.

Witnesses could actually see Gordon struggle as he tried to get out of the plane before it became completely submerged in the water.

‘He was strapped into the seat belt and trying to get out, but there was no hope for him,’ Camara Dodd told WABC.

NYPD and FDNY Harbor units and the Coast Guard remained on the scene at the 79th boat basin on the Upper West Side on Friday night.

The plane, named Jacky’s Revenge, was scheduled to perform at the Jones Beach Airshow this weekend for fleet week.

It was on loan from the American Airpower Museum at Republic Airport on Long Island, spokesman Gary Lewi told NBC New York.

It was flying with at least two other planes, a P-40 fighter aircraft and a photo plane, along the river to take promotional pictures for the show and the museum’s website.

The pilot decided to crash land in the Hudson after experiencing engine failure, Lewi told Newsday.

The plane, which took off from Republic Airport, crashed two miles south of the George Washington Bridge and was closer to the New Jersey side, according to the NYPD.

Divers spotted the pilot in the plane’s cockpit around 9pm.

Charles D'Alberto

Officials said the plane reportedly went down around 7.30pm.

One witness attempted to jump into the river to rescue those on board but was pulled from the water, according to the Hackensack Daily Voice.

Witnesses who were eating at Frank’s Waterside Restaurant in North Bergen, New Jersey, told NBC they saw the aircraft fall into the water nose first.

‘The front glass was off and the guy was trying to get out. He just couldn’t get out, the plane kept going down, down, down, just gone.’

The plane was secured to an FDNY vessel and the US Army Corps of Engineers will attempt to lift it from the river on Saturday morning.

The P-47 fighter planes were built from 1941 to 1945. They weighed up to eight tons when fully loaded and could carry a bomb load of 2,500 pounds.

Posted By Charles D'Alberto

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