WNYT.com

Pilot's body recovered from Hudson River

Posted at: 05/03/2013 6:19 PM
Updated at: 05/03/2013 11:35 PM
By: Beth Wurtmann

CATSKILL - State police confirmed late Friday afternoon that the body of the pilot whose plane crashed into the Hudson River Thursday, was recovered.

They say he is the owner of the aircraft, 72-year-old Michael Braunstein, from Copake.

We do know more about the type of military-style plane that went down, as well as the experience level of the pilot.

State police said floating pieces of debris helped them identify the plane as a Grumman 44a, nicknamed a Widgeon.

They said it's an old military reconnaissance aircraft that has amphibious capabilities where it can land on water and on land which has been converted into a pleasure craft.

Divers also found a large part of an aircraft's tail and more debris on the river bottom.

Earlier Friday, police said the pilot took off around four o'clock Thursday from a private air strip in Columbia County, and did not return.

They also also said it was unlikely that there were passengers.

"By all accounts it (the plane) was in excellent condition. The pilot had countless hours on it and if it's his plane, it experienced some difficulty obviously," said Captain Robert Nuzzo. "If it's the one we're looking for, there would only a pilot on board."

Nuzzo said after the body was recovered, a salvage company would be brought in to remove aircraft debris from the river.