Wantagh Junior Survives Emergency Landing of Plane on Beach During BOCES Aviation Lesson


Audrey Abbate, Entertainment Editor

Wantagh junior Mike Pastore was forced to make an emergency landing during a BOCES aviation lesson, January 29. There were numerous false reports about the incident on multiple websites. The plane took off at Republic Airport in Farmingdale. He was practicing with a fellow female classmate and his flight instructor, Brandon Sax.

“I contacted the control tower to declare a state of emergency,” said Pastore. “After trying to start the engine one more time my instructor declared a state of emergency landing at Robert Moses State Beach. I wanna make it clear that this was not a crash, it was an emergency landing.”

Mike said that there were a few signs and people in the way, even in January. “The front wheel got stuck in the sand and the entire airplane flipped over,” he said. “The plane didn’t flip because of the wind. The news got it wrong.” Most of the plane was smashed during the landing.

Mike described his thoughts after he landed: “Oh my God what just happened?” Pastore said the three of them actually laughed, not because it was funny but because of nervous energy and the relief that they had all survived uninjured.

The spontaneous landing could have been much worse because the plane wasn’t flying that high, initially.

Mike plans to join the Air Force in the future. He’s is part of The Civil Air Patrol, “a youth organization that introduces kids to aerospace, leadership and emergency services.”

As for his beach landing, Mike said he learned a lot from the experience and calls his flight instructor, a hero.

“If anyone is interested in joining Civil Air Patrol please let me know,” said Pastore.