The Latest: Pilot who crashed WWII plane was ‘extraordinary’


NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on the fatal crash of a vintage World War II plane into the Hudson River between New York and New Jersey (all times local):

9:30 a.m.

A veteran air show performer who died when a World War II plane crashed into the Hudson River between New York and New Jersey is being hailed as an “extraordinary pilot.”

Scott Clyman of the American Airpower Museum said in a statement Saturday that Bill Gordon understood the “powerful message” that historic aircraft represent “in telling the story of American courage and valor.”

Clyman says Gordon “was a nationally respected pilot.”

Gordon’s body was recovered hours after the vintage plane crashed on Friday.

Authorities are expected to work Saturday at lifting the single-seat plane, a P-47 Thunderbolt. The American Airpower Museum is celebrating the 75th anniversary of the P-47 Thunderbolt this weekend.

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8:15 a.m.

Officials are expected to begin the task of raising the wreckage of a vintage World War II plane that crashed into the Hudson River between New York and New Jersey, killing the pilot.

Authorities are expected to work Saturday at lifting the single-seat plane, a P-47 Thunderbolt that crashed Friday. The American Airpower Museum is celebrating the 75th anniversary of the P-47 Thunderbolt this weekend.

New York police say that scuba divers recovered the body of the pilot, identified as 56-year-old William Gordon, of Key West, Florida, about three hours after the crash.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the aircraft, which went down near the George Washington Bridge around 7:30 p.m., was among three planes that had departed from Republic Airport in Farmingdale, on Long Island, just east of New York City. The other two aircraft returned to the airport and landed safely.

The investigation into the crash is ongoing.