Police recover body from Breezy Point plane wreckage

Police say they have recovered a male body

Police say they have recovered a male body from the wreckage. (Credit: News 12 )

QUEENS - Federal investigators on Thursday were at the crash site of a small plane, trying to determine what caused the two-seater to plummet into the Atlantic Ocean while flying from Philadelphia to New Hampshire.

The plane, believed to be a Cirrus SR22, went down around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the waters off Breezy Point, at the end of the Rockaway Peninsula in Queens. A man's body was pulled from the wreckage that night; authorities believe he was the only person on board.

The NYPD has identified the deceased pilot as James McGee, 57, of New Hampshire.

"At this point, we are looking into the man, the machine and the environment," Heidi Moats, air safety investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board, told WNBC-TV on Thursday.

Moats would not speculate about the cause of the crash. She said witnesses reported seeing the aircraft descend into the water.

Rescue crews went to the scene following 911 calls Wednesday night from witnesses. By Thursday afternoon, authorities had recovered parts of the aircraft, including pieces of fiberglass, an aircraft wheel, fuselage and personal property.

Officers from the New York Police Department's Special Operations Division worked on removing the wreckage from the water as the NTSB investigated, a police commander tweeted.

The Federal Aviation Administration has not immediately commented on the crash.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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