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Aug 26, 2012 6:34 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Plane Crash At East Hampton Airport On Sunday

Aug 28, 2012 4:35 PM

UPDATE: Monday, 4:25 p.m.

East Hampton Town Police have identified the pilot of the plane that crashed shortly after takeoff from East Hampton Airport on Sunday as Steven Bochter. He and his passenger, Kim Brillo, are both from Massachusetts. They were hospitalized with unspecified injuries after the plane crashed in a wooded area across the road from the airport.

In a press release, the police said they responded to the scene at about 5:25 p.m. Investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration were called at 8 p.m.

UPDATE: Monday, 10:30 a.m.

A Brooklyn man scaled a fence barefoot, ran through the woods and pulled the female passenger out of the plane before it burst into flames.

Craig Schum, 33, said he was on his way home from working at the Levain Bakery in Wainscott when he stopped at an airport noise protest to chat with protestors.

“And while discussing that, I would say within a minute or two of me stopping, there was just this humongous raucous and explosion in the trees,” a still-shaken Mr. Schum recounted over the phone from work on Monday morning. “The forest basically just, like, blew up right behind us.”

Without even thinking about it, Mr. Schum said he ran toward the explosion. Barefoot, he scaled a fence he estimated was about 12-feet high.

“My only thought that I remember was getting to the top of this fence and thinking ‘I should not jump off this thing,’ and then I jumped, and kept running,” Mr. Schum said.

When he got to the plane, it had already caught fire. The male pilot was stumbling and fell down once, “clearly dazed” but conscious, he recalled. The woman could not move, he said. They were both covered in blood. Mr. Schum carried the woman back to the fence before the plane became engulfed in flames.

“I thought she was dead,” Mr. Schum said through tears. “I thought I was carrying a dead body. And once we got her out under the fence, I was just holding her hand and holding her head and just talking to her and telling her everything was going to be OK, everything was going to be OK.”

Eventually, the woman regained some consciousness and moved her head, he said. Mr. Schum said he was covered in her blood.

Other witnesses confirmed that Mr. Schum ran to the scene of the crash. But Mr. Schum said he finds the attention “uncomfortable” and said that he’s no hero.

“This is an event that’s going to take a really long time for me to process,” he said “All I know is I cry every time I think about it and keep seeing her face and have a hard time focusing.”

UPDATE: 7:45 p.m.

East Hampton Town Police Chief Ed Ecker Jr. said a man and woman from Massachusetts were going to fly home after visiting East Hampton, but the plane “lost power” after it took off from Runway 10, the airport’s main runway.

“And the pilot made a turn to the left, to try to make a landing back at the airport. And he went into the woods, about 100 yards east of Daniels Hole Road,” the chief said.

The pair were “conscious” before being flown to Stony Brook University Hospital for “varying degrees of injury,” said the chief. Chief Ecker said he believes the woman’s injuries were more severe and said she might have sustained a broken arm.

The plane, a single engine Mooney, caught fire when it landed, said the chief. Fire departments from East Hampton, Sag Harbor and Bridgehampton were on the scene, he said.

The man was piloting the plane, he said. They were on their way back home to Taunton, Massachusetts. Police haven’t yet released the names of the couple.

UPDATE: 7:41 p.m.

According to witnesses at the airport, the plane was a single-engine aircraft that experienced unknown difficulties just after taking off. The pilot attempted to turn around and land the plane but crashed into a wooded area across from the airport near Daniels Hole Road.

The witnesses said the male pilot was able to exit the aircraft and then help his female passenger exit the plane before rescue workers arrived.

Officials could not say what type of airplane it was. Mr. Brundige was not at the airport and said he wasn’t certain.

The airport remained open to traffic.

Original story:

A small plane crashed and caught fire shortly after taking off at the East Hampton Airport on Sunday evening.

Airport Manager Jim Brundige said two people were on board, but there were no fatalities. Both were being flown to Stony Brook University Hospital.

Supervisor Bill Wilkinson was on the scene.

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So, keep those planes away from houses. Too dangerous on the roads and in the air.
By Fishnut (6), East hampton on Aug 26, 12 7:28 PM
Well, I got two hours of relief from helicopter noise here in Noyac while the airport was closed down due to the crash. I hear the pilot and passenger walked away from the crash, after losing power right after taking off from runway 10.
By BruceB (142), Sag Harbor on Aug 26, 12 7:36 PM
I'm pleased that the plane accident victims were rescued...Now shut that airport down!
By Toma Noku (616), uptown on Aug 26, 12 10:17 PM
2 members liked this comment
Your attitudes and taxes are why I never even considered the northeast for my business. For you who say small planes are too dangerous around houses, please remind me of the last time someone on the ground was killed or injured by a small plane crashing into a house. Typically only the occupants of airplanes are killed when they crash into a building, guys like that Yankees pitcher, or that kid, Charles Bishop, who crashed his plane into the Bank of America building in Tampa. One person outside ...more
By Hugo_Stiglitz (2), Saint Petersburg on Aug 26, 12 11:00 PM
That is the theme here in the Hamptons move next to the dumps and complain of the smell. Move next to the airport complain of the noise it goes on and on. They all move here, hate the traffic and pollution. If you don't like pollution disconnect your septic system, bring bottled water, and get a horse and buggy. Oh I forgot you want someone else to do that.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Aug 27, 12 7:04 AM
1 member liked this comment
Am not an expert, but it seems planes have changed markedly since the date that aurport opened...and it probably had more to do with crop-dusting planes then than the commercial aircraft in use now. Same story with the roadways. Originally built to accomodate much less traffic, much lighter cars...not the huge numbers that increase every year not to mention construction trucking and heavy machinery. Also our water table cannot accomodate so much use and over use. Bye bye peaceful restful East ...more
By Vikki K (490), Southampton on Aug 27, 12 7:21 AM
So you think the plane crashed because the runway wasn't sufficient? Not sure what you are getting at. What's your solution to us turning into "Nassau" which is an absurd statement
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Aug 27, 12 9:07 AM
PS. I wonder why the names were not released of the plane's occupants? If they were ordinary folk we would know who they are right away. Perhaps they attended Biden's fundraiser in Bridgehampton and as the uber wealthy they can claim anonymity too. Since our nation's leaders have to be fundraisers first, oay their media dues during campaign time, and then take on the mantle of leadership second. Real true leaders may be out there, but without reforms of this media driven formula we will never ...more
By Vikki K (490), Southampton on Aug 27, 12 7:27 AM
Names are in Newsday... Yes, it's a big consiparacy with uber wealthy people related to Biden's visit. Orr.... it's a car dealer from Massachussettes. You were close though!
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Aug 27, 12 10:51 AM
1 member liked this comment
Hugo, although I find the delivery of your message quite rude ( was trash really the right word) I do agree with you. If live near an airport, a main road way or the local dumps get over it or move but please stop complaining
By jacks (70), hampton bays on Aug 27, 12 8:51 AM
Fair enough. My apologies. I guess I got a little inflamed in regards to a couple of the comments that I read; there was no reason for me to attack with teeth and it was a reflex emotional response.
By Hugo_Stiglitz (2), Saint Petersburg on Aug 27, 12 5:43 PM
In response to comment by Nature....my comment is aimed at the increase in numbers of vehicles, planes or cars or construction vehicles, their weight and increased activity. My comment about Nassau County which Suffolk resembles more and more as time and population density and traffic continue.

My comment about people affording their own planes has nothing to do with conspiracy. Lately the local media seems not to publish names...and in the case of the unlicensed undocumented driver who ...more
By Vikki K (490), Southampton on Aug 27, 12 11:19 AM
Except that you're wrong in this case and made a mountain out of a molehill. You used the lack of a name in the article to launch a rant on politics and the media when it had nothing to do with it. Furthermore, the hit and run was criminal. This plane crash was not

I don't know what your point is regarding increased traffic and "their weight". How does that contribute to a single engine plane crash? Please expand on this.

As for population - so it's OK for you to be part ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Aug 27, 12 12:08 PM
Well said!
By pstevens (406), Wilmington on Aug 28, 12 11:00 AM
I tip my hat to Mr. Schum. This world seems sorely lacking in persons willing to put their own safety and comfort aside to help a neighbor, just because it's the right thing to do. We'll all slow down to watch the car accident, the person with a flat tire, the man chasing his dog down the road, the plane crash victim....but how many of us stop to offer our help. We have places to be, things to do, and we simply don't want to get our hands THAT dirty. I stand in awe of those who can put all that ...more
By EQMama (29), East Quogue on Aug 27, 12 12:22 PM
3 members liked this comment
OT -- Speaking of the hit and run death of Sister Walsh, tonight marks the seventh week of this crime remaining unsolved, with almost no public statements from the authorities in general, or from Chief Wilson and Supv. Throne-Holst specifically.

Shameful . . . .
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Aug 27, 12 12:27 PM
Nice job Mr. Schum! Even if you are "uncomfortable" with the attention I'm sure the couple in the plane will be forever greatful for your instinctive reaction!
By Rich Morey (378), Brooklyn on Aug 27, 12 12:57 PM
1 member liked this comment
Oops, i woke up ranting speculatively today ...wait for a second cup of coffee in order to have any opinions you might want converse about with locals on 27 east news. Actually the caliber of your discussion is beyond most viewed in this arena ...basis in reality required for them?
By Vikki K (490), Southampton on Aug 27, 12 2:57 PM
Actually the caliber of your discussion is beyond most viewed in this arena ...basis in reality required for them?

By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Aug 27, 12 3:00 PM
Lookit, Nature, the East End is unsafe now..that is on my mind. And the election seesms a hoax this year. That is alo on my mind. My early thoughts today. What are your thoughts, Buddy?
By Vikki K (490), Southampton on Aug 27, 12 4:03 PM
Can we get outside investigators to look into why the police refused to release the name and photo of the hit and run suspect in the case of Sister Jackie? I have NEVER BEFORE heaard of police having the name and photo of their suspect and refusing to release them to the public for a week.
By btdt (449), water mill on Aug 27, 12 4:06 PM
OT -- Even the Press had an editorial criticizing the decision to withhold the name and photo. This bold editorial many weeks ago has seen ZERO follow-through IMO in holding the authorities up to the public light of day.

Tonight, by the way, marks the 7th week since Sister Walsh was mowed down and left to die on the side of the road, and Labor Day will mark two solid months.

Perhaps more public outrage will spark some action by the Press or the town's chief of police and supervisor?

Links ...more
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Aug 27, 12 4:35 PM
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Aug 27, 12 4:36 PM
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Aug 27, 12 4:37 PM
Craig Schum, you ARE a hero. You ran toward danger and risked your life for strangers. Thank you.
By Montaukette (46), Waterland on Aug 28, 12 2:13 AM
Mr. Schum was acting as a guardian angel that day. He was in the right place at the right time and had the integrity and physical strength to help the victims. He is a hero and that is a fact.
By Mrs.Sea (268), Sag Harbor on Aug 28, 12 11:22 AM