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Cops: Motor issues force small plane to land at EPCAL


A small, vintage aircraft landed in Calverton Saturday afternoon after sustaining motor issues and while taxiing on the runway, a crosswind pushed it onto a grass field at the former Skydive Long Island site, Riverhead Town police said. 

No injuries were reported.

Police received a call at 3:53 p.m. from Luminati Aerospace — which purchased Skydive Long Island last year — about an unauthorized aircraft on the runway that may have crashed, police said. Police found the owner of the single fixed-wing plane, Daniel Charnews, 71, of Centerport, who said he lost control of the aircraft on the runway from the crosswind. The aircraft, a 1947 Stinson 108, ended up leaning on one wing.

The Riverhead Detective Division was notified as well as the FAA, which released the aircraft to the owner. An investigation by the FAA is ongoing, police said.

Anyone with information is asked to call police at 727-4500.

Luminati plans to develop unmanned aerial vehicles at the former Grumman site in Calverton for an undisclosed Fortune 250 company.

Photo Caption: The aircraft that landed in Calverton Saturday. (Credit: Riverhead police)