Queen Paul “Park” after his plane’s engine lost power, forcing him to make an emergency landing

A Queens state assemblyman says he has some divine intervention to thank for the miraculous emergency landing he made on a Long Island beach Friday in his tiny plane.

“I’ve been lucky,” Queens State Assemblyman Clyde Fannell told The Post, a day after his administration. to land safely On a small patch of sand exposed at low tide after the rover had suddenly lost power.

“I don’t know why God spared me, but I think I’m here for a reason.”

Fannell, 48, said he was on a jaunt with a friend on Friday when the engine of his Beechcraft suddenly lost power.

The elected official, who represents the 33rd Assembly District that represents parts of southeast Queens, is an experienced recreational pilot who studied flying at SUNY Farmingdale and flies once every few weeks, he said.

The sky was clear when Fannell and his buddy took off from Brookhaven Airport in Suffolk County, and everything was fine, he said — until it wasn’t.

Fannell was on a jaunt with a friend on Friday when the engine of his Beechcraft lost power.
John Roca

“We were about 10 miles from the airport… over water, clear day, nice weather, nothing crazy, nothing special,” he said.

In more than 10 years of flying, he said, “I’ve never had an engine failure before.” “You train for it so much, muscle memory kicks in.”

The emergency erupted within a few minutes, as Fanel realized his engine was not getting any power.

“I stopped responding,” he said. “Imagine that you are driving and have your foot on the gas but you are not accelerating.”

Fearful of crashing into a house, Fannell said he began running a list of emergency checks, all while frantically searching for the best place to bring the now-gliding plane safely to the ground.

“I knew I couldn’t go back to Brookhaven. Calverton [Executive Airpark] It was a little close, but it seemed a little far away. Then there was Shoreham [Nuclear Power Plant] close to me, but I wasn’t sure I’d be able to get past all the trees and houses.”

Then spot it: a small slip of sand, usually covered by water and now exposed at low tide.

“I could certainly make it to the beach and nobody was there,” said Fannell. “I knew if I landed on the beach I would take plane damage, but I might be able to survive that.”

A lone bird spotter captured Fannel’s descent on video, gently bringing down the plane, its nose dragging along the beach before the fuselage gave way.

“I was so shocked,” said Fannell, who said he could not remember the exact moment, but quickly removed himself and his friend from the plane, fearing a fire. “I’m still in shock.”

While the plane was damaged – and as of Saturday, still sitting on Shoreham Beach – Fannell walked away with a scratch on his chin.

With no cell reception ashore, a bird-watcher helped Fannell and a friend contact the authorities. He hopes to recover the damaged plane on Sunday, and plans to fly again, saying flying is “part of my DNA”.

“I’m going to talk about training and safety a lot more now,” he said, referring to his training to keep him alive. “I don’t know if this will save every situation but you can make a bad situation less bad.”

Additional reporting by George Roberts

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