Pilot dies in Long Island plane crash

April 5, 2009 6:29:59 PM PDT
Suffolk County police say the pilot of a World War II-era airplane has died in a crash in the water off Long Island's Smith Point Beach in the town of Shirley. Investigators say the pilot was performing maneuvers about 300 yards offshore Sunday afternoon when it plunged.

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Authorities say the pilot was the only person aboard the single-engine plane, which departed from Calabro Airport in Brookhaven.

Suffolk police identified the pilot as 61-year-old Robert Baranaskas of Northport.

A Suffolk County police spokesperson says the pilot's son witnessed the crash from the ground.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.


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