Yesterday morning, the pilot of a 1969 SIAI-Marchetti crashed into a residential street in East Farmingdale, Long Island. Pilot Gus Halouvas, who was apparently practicing "touch and go" landings, and two other passengers were injured while 75-year-old passenger Ed Cerverizzo died from his injuries. Cerverizzo's son said, "My dad's been flying for over 40 years, there's a lot of experience in that cockpit, something had to go really wrong."
The Suffolk County Police Department's Det. Lt. Gerard Pelkofsky said, "Shortly after [the 1969 SIAI-Marchetti] attained altitude, it apparently lost the engine and had no power after that. The pilot attempted to land the plane as safely as he could. He came through over a demolition yard and was able to go through some trees and landed on a roadway without hitting any people on the ground." The control tower at Republic Airport, where Halouvas took off from, told the FAA that Halouvas indicated "no problem... no mayday or any other kind of distress call."
Robert Anthony, who heard the crash on his street, said, "It sounded like a bomb, sounded like a bunch of sticks of dynamite, it's just huge." He and other neighbors ran out to help, "We cut the belts out, we had to get them out quick because the fuel was on the ground."
Michael Cerverizzo said that his father, Halouvas, and passenger William Mancusi, an 83-year-old Brooklyn resident, had been flying together for decades, telling Newsday that the three "would often take to the air on Sundays, grab breakfast at another airport, and fly home."