CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) – A small single engine plane crash landed at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport Thursday after experiencing a power failure while 200-feet in the air.
The Piper Cherokee 160 registered to Prior Aviation came down hard just before 3 p.m. in an airport parking lot on the front side of the property along Genesee Street, near the westernmost entrance drive, which is where Rt. 33 empties out onto Genesee.
The fixed wing, four-seat plane came in from the west and landed on its belly. First responders sprayed the plane down with foam, but it is unclear if it was on fire after the landing, if it was leaking fuel, or if it was done as a precaution.
C. Douglas Hartmayer, spokesman for the NFTA, said, “After the plane had gained altitude of around 200 to 300 feet, it’s my understanding that it lost power, the plane started to turn, it started to head west and landed in a bushy, grassy area.”
The NFTA gives the pilot, Anastasiia Goldowsky, a lot of credit for not crashing into the terminal or landing on Genesee. The only thing damaged was some bushes on the west side of the parking lot.
“[We] credit her with taking some good defensive actions and bringing that plane down in that parking lot, as opposed to crashing into some cars, landing on Genesee Street, or maybe even into the terminals,” Hartmayer said.
Goldowsky was up in the air with Bing Shen and his son Quian. An official from Prior Aviation tells News 4 it was a training flight, but according to the NFTA, the plane had been chartered for sightseeing.
The 31-year-old pilot, a certified flight instructor, was taken to ECMC but does not have serious injuries. Neither Shens were injured and were questioned by police about what they saw and heard leading up to the crash.
Numerous lanes were blocked off on Genesee as FAA investigators looked over the scene.
“The full investigation that will be conducted by the FAA will determine the actual cause, but the preliminary cause is being given as a loss of power,” Hartmayer said.
None of the flights taking off and landing from the airport Thursday afternoon were affected by this incident.