An evening sightseeing trip over the Hudson River nearly ended in tragedy Sunday night when a Piper PA-32 with two people on board suffered an engine problem and went down in the cold water. Fortunately, the man and the woman on board managed to put on life vests and get out of the airplane before it sank.
The two people reportedly floated in the Hudson River for about 30 minutes before being rescued by Yonkers, NY, police officers, some of whom were off duty, who spotted them in the water and took a boat out to bring them back to shore. CBS News reports that the two were taken to a local hospital and treated for hypothermia.
The New York Post reports that the plane had been registered to Doinick Lipariti of Manalapan, NJ, but when contacted, he said he had sold the plane three days before the accident, and did not name the new owner.
Those on board the airplane have been identified as Christopher Smidt, a student pilot who had been taking instruction from the pilot, Deniece De Priester. The paper said that at a news conference Tuesday, Smidt said that the flight Sunday had been intended as a sighseeing flight, not a lesson. It appears he got one anyway.