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Four Die in Plane Crashes in Long Island, Pennsylvania

August 29, 1987

KINGS POINT, N.Y. (AP) _ A small plane exploded and crashed, killing the pilot and raining debris over an exclusive neighborhood, after the aviator lost control, authorities said.

″It looked like the sky was falling,″ said Ben Foersterling, 26, who was repairing a sprinkler system at an estate Friday. ″There were a lot of people on the ground and we all started running. I was scared because there was lots of stuff coming down.″

No one on the ground in this Long Island city was injured.

In central Pennsylvania, three men were killed when a twin-engine plane crashed shortly after takeoff from a county airport, authorities said today.

Karl G. Kovacs, Selinsgrove, the pilot of the plane, and passengers John A. Waller, 46, Duncannon, and John Quirk, Shermans Dale, were pronounced dead at the scene Friday night by Snyder County Coroner Harold Hassinger, state Trooper Douglas Martin said.

Martin said no information was available on the cause of the crash but said the Federal Aviation Administration would be investigating today.

On Long Island, FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said the pilot had just left Teterboro, N.J., for Quebec when he reported having trouble with his plane. Air traffic controllers lost contact with him.

The Piper aircraft apparently exploded before crashing, said Nassau County Police Commissioner Edward Hayman.

″I heard a very large roar which I initially thought were the blades of a lawn mower,″ said William Dorman, a resident in the area. ″It was the most horrible thing I have ever seen.″

The coroner’s office was checking fingerprints and dental records to identify the pilot, who was believed to be from Pennsylvania, said Nassau County Police Officer Paul Kunz.

Update hourly