NTSB: Pilot reported losing power shortly before Bayonne plane crash; 911 calls released

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Audio of 911 calls. (WABC)

Federal officials say the pilot of a small plane that crashed in a New Jersey neighborhood last month told them the plane started losing power just before it went down.

The information is included in a preliminary crash report issued by the National Transportation Safety Board.

The 56-year-old pilot, George Pettway, was alone in the Piper PA-28R-200 when the crash occurred Feb. 19. The Long Island, New York man suffered a broken left forearm, several broken ribs and numerous contusions and abrasions and remained hospitalized Wednesday.

The single-engine plane had departed from Republic Airport in Farmingdale, New York earlier that day.

Pettway was maneuvering around the Statute of Liberty when the power problems occurred and he couldn't maintain altitude. He reported the problem to officials and flew toward land.

The plane mangled power lines and damaged parked vehicles.

Dramatic 911 calls were released on Wednesday that highlighted the chaos.
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