The pilot of a small vintage plane that crashed in Suffolk County, Long Island on Wednesday, Ken Johansen, formerly of Greenwich, was killed.
The plane took down several trees when it crashed in a ball of flames in Melville, but fortunately did not hit any of the nearby houses in the neighborhood.
Witnesses reported the plane, which had been flying in formation with several other vintage planes, appeared to break into pieces in midair before crashing in a wooded area of Northcote Drive in Melville — about three miles northeast of Republic Airport in Farmingdale.
The World War II era Navy plane was identified as a GEICO Skytyper that was part of an air-show team.
According to the GEICO Skytypers website, the air show team is a world famous flight squadron of six vintage World War II aircraft that perform precision flight maneuvers at select air shows. On Thursday the website was offline.
Johansen, a married father of two, was a graduate of Greenwich High School in the class of 1984. He was the only one on board the plane, which crashed around 2:00pm.
The Federal Aviation Administration began an investigation on Wednesday.