Yesterday afternoon, drivers were shocked when a small plane landed on the Major Deegan Expressway in The Bronx. No one was injured after pilot Michael Schwartz brought the single-engine Piper plane onto the northbound lanes at 233rd Street around 3 p.m. Saturday. There were two other female passengers with Schwartz, but neither was his wife, who was less than forthright (or happy) when asked about the flight: “Why don’t you ask him?” Giovanna Schwartz told LoHud when asked why she wasn't on the plane. "I'm sure he would be happy to tell you."
Schwartz decided to make the emergency landing with passengers Kristina Terrell and Monica Castillo, because of engine failure. Authorities are crediting Miguel Lopez, a Department of Transportation worker who was doing road repairs when he saw the plan descending, for keeping the situation on the ground under control. Lopez moved his vehicle to stop traffic, which explains how no cars were damaged during the landing.
“I see skid marks on the highway approximately 100 yards. It basically landed, the wheels collapsed underneath it and it skidded to a halt,” Assistant Deputy Fire Chief James Daly told CBS. “Luckily there was only one minor injury.”
“The plane hit the ground. It came straight down and hit the tree tops and we helped escort the passengers off,” Lopez told reporters, adding that he brought all three passengers into his car to keep them warm. “A potentially more devastating situation could have arose if it wasn’t for the quick thinking and efforts of this DOT roadway crew,” DOT said in a statement.
The plane registration was issued in June, and Schwartz was listed as a student pilot as of April 201