Coast Guard: "Here's An Issue Where Being Prepared For An
When 41-year old Itai Shoshani, departed Orlando
(FL) Monday, he was prepared. Knowing that his route to White
Plains (NY), Shoshani brought with him flairs and his trusty cell
phone. But he probably never imagined he'd have to use them to save
Shoshani, whose Cessna 414 (file photo, right) was registered to
Ritz Aviation, LLC, Dover (DE), was diverted from his original
destination by air traffic controllers. Instead of landing at White
Plains (NY), he was sent to Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Bridgeport
(CT). The 414 was tracked inbound toward Bridgeport on radar, until
it vanished from ATC screens at approximately 2:27 pm (EDT). Local
police say Shoshani was running low on fuel at that point. He
apparently didn't have enough go-juice to reach shore, much less
Safe In Sound: "The Stars Were With Him"
"Here's an issue where being prepared for an emergency worked,"
said Coast Guard spokesman Petty Officer Matthew Belson in a
interview with New York NewsDay. "The stars were aligned for him."
The reason? Belson says Shoshani ditched the Cessna 414 in about 80
feet of water. Shoshani reportedly got out of the cockpit wearing a
lifevest. In his hands, a bundle of flares and his cell phone.
Shoshani clung to the sinking aircraft and dialed the Coast
Petty Officer John Olsen took the call. "He was able to calm the
pilot down and give him some truly lifesaving instructions," Belson
said. Olsen was able to calm Shoshani down, said Belson, then told
him to look around for vessels in the area.
"He said, 'Wait a minute, I see a boat.' I told him to launch a
flare," Olsen told The Associated Press. Shoshani launched a flair
and the tugboat Atlantic Service changed course directly toward the
Seventeen minutes after his aircraft ditched, Shoshani was
climbing into an ambulance. He was taken to a hospital in
Bridgeport, treated for hypothermia and released.
The FAA and NTSB are now investigating.
FAA Preliminary Report
Regis#: 1234 Make/Model:
C414 Description: 414, Chancellor
Date: 05/26/2003 Time: 1828
Event Type: Accident Highest Injury:
None Mid Air: N Missing:
City: BRIDGEPORT State: CT Country:
N1234, C414, IFR, ENROUTE FROM ORLANDO, FL TO WHITE PLAINS, NY
DECLARED MINIMUM FUEL AND THEN MADE A FORCED LANDING IN THE
WATER 9.86 MILES SOUTHWEST OF BRIDGEPORT, CT AT 1428 EDT ON
5/26/03. ONE PERSON ON BOARD RESCUED BY THE USCG. PILOT
TREATED FOR HYPOTHERMIA. AIRCRAFT SUNK. BRIDGEPORT, CT.
INJURY DATA Total
# Crew: 1 Fat:
# Pass: 0
Fat: 0 Ser:
Fat: 0 Ser:
WEATHER: BDR 1828Z 070015KT 1 1/2SM 700OVC A2992
Activity: Unknown Phase: Cruise Operation:
Departed: ORLANDO, FL Dep Date:
05/26/2003 Dep. Time:
Destination: WHITE PLAINS, NY Flt
Plan: IFR Wx Briefing: U
Last Radio Cont: Last
FAA FSDO: WINDSOR LOCKS, CT
Entry date: 05/27/2003