USCG pilots rescued after crash landing in Cresskill expected to survive; names released

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Friday, September 4, 2015
Pilots rescued after crash landing, expected to survive
Tim Fleischer is in Spring Valley with the details

CRESSKILL, N.J. (WABC) -- The names of the two pilots injured after a crash landing in Bergen County, N.J., Thursday have been released.

The U.S. Coast Guard said Jack (Yaakov) Rosenberg and Erik Pearson were flying the Cessna 172 plane on a routine patrol over the Hudson River before making the emergency crash landing in a field in Cresskill.

The pilots initially were going to try to land in the Hudson River after reporting engine trouble, according to air traffic control radio traffic, but then tried to make it to Teterboro Airport. The plane only made it to Regan Field behind the Cresskill Swim Club.

Rescuers quickly pulled the two from the plane and rushed them to the hospital, where they're both in stable condition and expected to survive.

This is a wide view of the scene from NewsCopter 7:

The pilots are volunteers with the USGS' Auxiliary units. Rosenberg has been with the USGS since 2005 and Pearson 2010.

Rosenberg, of Spring Valley, is a longtime volunteer in the Orthodox community.

Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) is singing the praises of the pilots.

"I have known Jack (Yaakov Yosef) Rosenberg for many years. This is our hero, the new Sully Sullenberger. He has long gone out of his way to help anyone in need," Hikind said in a news release. "What happened last night was nothing short of miraculous and is a testament to the skill and dedication of Rosenberg and his co-pilot.

Yossi Gestetner, a friend of Rosenberg, knew the experienced pilot could land the plane.

"They visibly saw how he steered the plane away from the children at the soccer field at one end and the buildings on the other," Gestetner said. "That obviously shows his professionalism and of course that he is put his life second to the safety of others."

Hikind said Rosenberg broke both legs and was in surgery for more than nine hours.

Investigators with the NTSB are continuing to investigate the crash to determine the cause. The plane will be taken to Delaware so the NTSB can examine it more closely.