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Vintage plane wreckage retrieved after pilot killed in Hudson River crash

Published 28/05/2016

Search and rescue boats look for a small plane that went down in the Hudson River (AP)
Search and rescue boats look for a small plane that went down in the Hudson River (AP)

Divers have retrieved the wreckage of a Second World War plane that crashed into the Hudson River between New York and New Jersey, killing the pilot.

The plane was pulled out of the water by divers with the New York Police Department and the Army Corps of Engineers.

It was being taken to a heliport in Manhattan. The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will examine the aircraft as part of the investigation.

The single-seat P-47 Thunderbolt crashed at about 7.30pm on Friday. The body of pilot William Gordon was recovered hours later.

Mr Gordon had 25 years of experience as an air show performer.

The plane was taking part in the American Airpower Museum's celebration of the P-47 Thunderbolt's 75th anniversary this weekend.

The veteran air show performer was hailed as an "extraordinary pilot".

Scott Clyman, of the American Airpower Museum, said Mr Gordon understood the "powerful message" that historic aircraft represent "in telling the story of American courage and valour".

Mr Clyman said Mr Gordon "was a nationally respected pilot".

The P-47 was among three planes that had departed from the Republic Airport in Farmingdale, on Long Island, just east of New York city. The other two aircraft returned to the airport and landed safely.

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From Belfast Telegraph