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Pilot Lands Same Plane on Sunrise Highway For Second Time in a Week

More engine trouble forces single-engine plane to land on highway again, police say.

A photo from the landing on Sunrise Highway last week. Instagram/Jessica Milligan
A photo from the landing on Sunrise Highway last week. Instagram/Jessica Milligan
A week ago, Frank Fierro was forced to land his single-engine plane on Sunrise Highway after experiencing engine trouble. 

On Friday afternoon, Fierro, 75, took the ultralight Challenger plane back to the air for the first time, but more engine trouble after taking off from Lufker/Spadaro Airport once again forced him to put the plane down on Sunrise Highway in East Moriches, police said. 

Fierro, who is from Lake Ronkonkoma according to FAA records, landed the plane safely on the eastbound side of the highway at about 12:50 p.m. and he was able to move the plane to the right shoulder, police said. 

Suffolk Police Highway Patrol and Seventh Precinct officers assisted airport personnel to tow the plane back to the East Moriches airport. There were no injuries reported. 

Fierro told NBC 4 that a burnt fuse caused the homemade plane to stall on both occasions. 

Tired of Excuses July 20, 2014 at 12:10 PM
in fact....a less skilled, inexperienced pilot may have crashed instead of landing safely with no injury or property damage
ABS July 20, 2014 at 08:08 PM
Pilot program....Sunrise highway seems to be the landing strip of choice..how about using it on a regular basis and save time by not going to an airport.
oldfed July 20, 2014 at 09:01 PM
Hey, Tired of Excuses: Stop creating excuses for those unfortunate seniors who SHOULD NOT BE FLYING, PERIOD! Private so-called pilots have no more authority or status than any rereational boater. THERE IS NO RIGHT TO FLY IN THE US CONSTITUTION. Most men die by age 80-85 max., and usually badly. I have nine years under the belt as a professional counselor of olde men, and am starting to be one myself. No one has the right to endanger others due to their unfortunate mental lapses. Yes, a single mechanical fault, OK, but twice...Get real, test these folks and yank their licenses, just like car problems. And yes, I've had it twice in my family. We cannot pretend that medical/biological problems do not exist. Wake up!!!
Gabe Gonsalves July 21, 2014 at 09:48 AM
this is the second time now.....maybe the pilot should move onto another aircraft.
kevin July 22, 2014 at 03:42 AM
Lock the bastard up for 7 years !

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