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Lucky to be alive: Queens Assemblyman Vanel survives emergency landing of plane he piloted on Long Island

Mar. 18, 2023 By Zachary Gewelb

Queens Assemblyman Clyde Vanel is safe and sound after piloting a plane that made an emergency landing on a Long Island beach on Friday afternoon.

According to Vanel, who posted about the incident on social media Friday afternoon, March 17, he was piloting a plane that began to experience engine failure.

CBS News reported that a passenger accompanied Vanel on his single-engine aircraft from Brookhaven Airport around 2 p.m. before the engine failure.

Vanel’s training kicked in and he landed the plane on a beach in Shoreham, Long Island.

“I landed the airplane at the nearest safe location, while attempting to minimize damage to persons or property,” Vanel wrote.

The CBS News report indicates Vanel suffered a minor cut under his chin. His friend was not injured.

Vanel said he is “thankful” to avoid major injury and cited his FAA training for helping him escape the incident unscathed.

“The FAA’s training on emergency procedures works. For all my fellow pilots, follow the emergency procedures — it will save your life.”

QNS reached out to Vanel’s office for additional comment and is waiting for a response.

Vanel’s colleague in the Assembly, Stacey Pheffer Amato, responded to Vanel’s tweet, saying that she was “happy” he walked away from the incident unharmed.

“I’m so happy you walked away (probably in the best looking shoes) unharmed! Irish eyes were smiling on you today,” she tweeted.

Councilwoman Selvena Brooks-Powers also responded to Vanel’s tweet, saying she was “glad” Vanel was OK.

Vanel represents the 33rd Assembly District, which includes all or parts of Hollis, Queens Village, Bellerose, Floral Park (Queens) and Cambria Heights.

The FAA is now investigating the cause of the crash, according to CBS News.

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