Witness describes plane’s forced landing near Saratoga County Airport

Saratoga County

MILTON, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating a forced landing near a small airport in the town of Milton. NEWS10’s Anya Tucker spoke with Anna Salisbury, who witnessed the incident after hearing a loud roaring noise over her apartment.

“I was thinking they weren’t going to make it, and then I saw them land in the field and it was kind of a hard thud,” said Salisbury.

Salisbury has lived at the Geyser Road Apartments for more than 20 years. So she’s used to planes taking off and landing at the Saratoga County Airport located right across the road. But she said around 5:45 p.m. Wednesday night, she heard something unusual.

“It was loud. It was a really loud sounding engine. And I look out the window and it wasn’t like coming over my house just about. And when it landed it came down with a thud,” she added.

Saratoga County Sheriff Michel Zurlo says the small plane, with a pilot and student pilot onboard, had to make a forced landing.

“They we’re coming in for a landing. For some reason, they lost power and they were not able put it down on the runway. But put it safely down in a field that’s adjacent to the runway, western part of the airport,” said Zurlo.

Zurlo identified the pilot as 35-year-old Jesse Richardson, of Fultonville, and the student pilot as 30-year-old Justin L. Platt, of Ballston. He says both men were operating the plane at the time of the forced landing.

There was some damage to the front of the aircraft, which is now missing a wheel. Amazingly, both pilot and student pilot walked away from the crash.

But In a populated area, near homes and power lines, there was little margin for error.

“They did a great job. Whoever was piloting the aircraft to land it where they landed it. Without any injuries. And without the aircraft catching on fire. So kudos to both of them inside that airplane,” he added.

Salisbury says she can’t recall the last time a plane had any issues, but with neighborhoods surrounding the airport, she does feel this was a bit too close for comfort.

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