Last night, a small plane which had taken off from Farmingdale, Long Island, made an emergency landing on Rockaway Beach near Beach 56th Street. The pilot, James Maloney, 24, and his two passengers, Clarke Oler, 22, and Chelsea Protter, 21, were injured, but Maloney could be in trouble—it turns out he wasn't given permission to make the landing
According to the Post, soon after taking off, Maloney "contacted the control tower at JFK Airport and said one of his passengers had become 'violently ill,' the sources said. Maloney... then asked for permission to land on the beach. When the controller denied the request, Maloney claimed he was experiencing a 'rough engine' in the Piper PA-28. The controller then asked if Maloney needed to declare an emergency. He declined. Then Maloney asked if there were any private beaches nearby, the sources said. The controller repeated, 'You don't have permission to land.'"
A witness told the Post, "I noticed a very small plane headed towards the beach unusually fast. I screamed to my friends, 'Oh, my God! It's gonna crash!' It hit the beach hard and made a huge splash." She also said that the pilot was "crying so much." Here's video of the plane in the water:
Maloney allegedly initially told cops that he had permission to land. Protter's mother said her daughter, who is dating Oler, "just wanted to go on a fun adventure... But I think this is one of the stupidest things she's ever done. The first thing I thought of was JFK Jr."