Plane recovered off Narragansett coast after crash Monday

This Cessna 305 crashed off Bonnet Shores on July 4.

NARRAGANSETT, R.I. (WPRI) — Crews working off the Narragansett coast were able to successfully recover the single-engine plane that crashed there 24 hours earlier.

Joyce Hickey watched as the plane was lifted out of the water from her own backyard on Cliff Drive.

“They hooked the hook on and you saw the buoys coming up, and the first of the plane breaking through. I was amazed that it was upside down,” said Hickey.

The L-19 Bird Dog airplane went down after a loss of power around 1 p.m, Monday afternoon. The recovered aircraft will now likely be looked at by the state’s aeronautics inspector, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

State police identified the pilot as 26-year-old Jeremiah R. Coholan of North Dartmouth. He declined medical treatment after he was brought to shore, having received only a minor scratch in the crash. Coholan, who flew out of Westerly, originally planned to fly the plane along the coast with an AT&T banner.

This is not Coholan’s first time averting an aviation disaster.

Back in January, Coholan was flying a different plane when he was forced to make an emergency landing in a snow covered field near Rochester, New York. “When the plane finally shut off, I really had about 10 seconds to figure out where I was going to put it,”

“When the plane finally shut off, I really had about 10 seconds to figure out where I was going to put it,” Coholan said recalling the January incident. “I was looking at the field over there but I saw the trees and power lines. And I was getting pretty close to my stall speed, so I put it down over in the field and slid up the hill, we clipped the tree a little bit which helped from going into the yard.”

According to the Rhode Island State Police, this is the third plane crash in Rhode Island within the last two weeks. On June 18, a man was rescued after his small plane made an emergency landing into the sea off the coast of Westerly. Just one day later, a single-engine Cherokee Six aircraft that was headed from New Haven, Connecticut to the Block Island Airport overshot the runway and crashed into the woods on Center Road.

Lifeguard Nick Monegeau was present for both the Westerly and Narragansett plane crashes. “It’s just crazy,” he said. “You don’t expect this type of thing to happen.”

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