WWII-era Small Plane Crashes in NYC’s Hudson River, Body Recovered

NYPD(NEW YORK) -- A World War II-era single-seat fighter plane crashed in the Hudson River Friday evening, and a body believed to the pilot was recovered by divers, police officials said.

The NYPD said the plane, which took off from an airport in Suffolk County, went into the water around 7:30 p.m. A distress signal was issued.

The NYPD said that it has located the plane, which was secured to a harbor launch. New Jersey State Police initially said that the pilot suffered minor injuries and was en route to the hospital, but the agency said later it could not confirm that.

According to police, the body recovered was the pilot, identified as William Gordon, 56, of Key West, Florida.

He was removed from the water and declared deceased by the EMS, the NYPD said.

The investigation is ongoing.

The exact circumstances of the crash, about two miles south of the George Washington Bridge, were not clear.

The FAA said that the World War II-era P-47 Thunderbolt aircraft was one of three that had departed from Republic Airport on Long Island. The two other aircraft returned to the airport safely, the FAA said.

The plane had based at the American Airpower Museum in Farmingdale, New York, on Long Island, for the past 16 years and was scheduled to participate in the Jones Beach Air Show on Saturday.

On Friday, the aircraft flew twice before the crash.

“It certainly has a solid performance history,” American Airpower Museum spokesman Gary Lewi said of the plane. He added that the craft showed "no sign whatsoever, or any suggestion of a problem" and if it had, it wouldn't have been allowed to make a third flight.

The P-47 was the heaviest single-engine fighter in WWII, according to the Cradle of Aviation Museum on Long Island.

"Despite its size, the P-47 proved to be one of the best performing fighters to see combat," the Cradle of Aviation Museum's website said. "Produced in greater numbers than any other U.S. made fighter, the story of how it came to exist is at least as interesting as its many accomplishments."

"The mighty Thunderbolt broke the back of the Luftwaffe and pounded the Wehrmacht without mercy," the museum added.

Lewi said that some 9,000 of the plane were built on Long Island during WWII, but that there were very few that were left.

“It’s a legend," he said. "There are not that many left flying in the world.”

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California anticipates much-needed rain this week after catastrophic wildfires

California anticipates much-needed rain this week after catastrophic wildfiresGoogle Earth(NEW YORK) -- Ravaged by a slew of deadly wildfires in recent days, northern California is set to get a bit of relief this week in the form of rain.

A storm system is expected to move over the Pacific Northwest later this week and the trailing cold front will most likely bring some much-needed rain to northern California between Thursday and Friday, according to ABC meteorologists.

"It will rain a bit but not enough to fully douse the blazes," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Ken Clark said in a statement Tuesday. "The biggest advantage to firefighters will be the increase in humidity and lower temperatures."

Massive wildfires have charred more than 245,000 acres of land statewide in the past week, killing at least 41 people and destroying thousands of homes, according to authorities.

Firefighters were battling about a dozen wildfires as of late Tuesday evening, although most of them were more than halfway contained.

“The weather today will be warm with low humidity, which will continue to challenge firefighters, but only light winds are forecast,” CalFire said in a statement on Tuesday. “A chance of precipitation is expected to arrive later in the week, bringing relief from the dry conditions.”

The northern parts of the Golden State, which has bared the brunt of the fire damage, is forecast to see an influx of cloudy, cooler and wetter weather later in the week, according to AccuWeather.

Spotter from Los Osos was reporting sprinkles from this high level moisture. Dry at lower levels. Rain evaporates. Also called "Virga" #cawx pic.twitter.com/sgxj3bdXZQ

— NWS Los Angeles (@NWSLosAngeles) October 18, 2017

However, a return of dry air, heat and areas of gusty winds could once again raise the wildfire danger early next week, meteorologists said.

Separately, a band of moisture, referred to as Atmospheric River by weather experts, is currently stretching between Asia and North America. It’s expected to bring several storm systems into many parts of the Pacific Northwest through the rest of the week.

The first of these storms have already hit the Pacific Northwest with wind gusts of between 40 and 74 mph.

A number of wind warnings and flood watches are in effect in the western and northern parts of the U.S. ahead of the storm.

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