Geico Skytyper plane crashes and bursts into flames, pilot killed
A Geico Skytyper plane crashed in a residential neighborhood in Melville Wednesday afternoon, killing the pilot.
The crash happened on Northcote Drive and Colonial Springs Road around 2 p.m. Stunt pilot Ken Johansen, 52, was killed when his single-engine plane burst into flames in the middle of the street a few hundred feet from homes.
Neighbors say the single-engine plane was flying in formation with three other planes before the crash.
"I saw four circling at first. Then I only saw three when they came back around," says Lou Scaglione, of Deer Park. "I looked over and I could see smoke above the trees. It's a shame."
Officials confirmed that Johansen was part of a team that performed at last week's Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach State Park. They say the plane broke apart before it hit the ground.
Johansen was an executive officer with the Skytypers and a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. He was also a Naval aviator and a professional airline pilot. Johansen leaves behind a wife and two children.
The FAA was on the scene along with state and local police. There has not been any official word yet on what caused the plane to crash.