Mar 12 2016

The Day an Airplane Crashed Near the Plainview Road Motor Parkway Bridge Updated 3/19/16

Tim Ivers has forwarded this 1939 photo of a tragic airplane crash near the Plainview Road Motor Parkway Bridge, the site of this weekend's Mystery Foto.


Howard Kroplick

Congrats to the Stony Brook University Seawolves on earning a bid to the NCAA Tournament! SBU'71.

A July 15,1939 Nassau Daily Review front page shows a fatal army plane crash on the outskirts of Bethpage State Park near the Plainview Road Motor Parkway Bridge.

From the July 15, 1939 issue of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle , the crash occurred "about 100 feet west of Plainview Road near the old Motor Parkway in the western and undeveloped section of the park."

Current view near the former location of the bridge and the airplane crash.

Femenias' Findings


Mar 12 2016 frank femenias 10:23 PM

Howard, this accident occurred near the same bridge in this week’s mystery photo. The plane carrying two servicemen hit the power lines by Central Park near Caroline Street. Brian McCarthy may have more information on this. If I recall correctly, I don’t believe anyone survived here. These photos by Tim Ivers are new to me.

Mar 13 2016 Brian D McCarthy 2:52 PM

Definitely Plainview Rd overpassing the LIMP here. Maybe it’s the image, but there seems to be quite a bit of sag in the transmission lines from the tower. Crash was worse enough, I hope the plane didn’t make an electrical contact.


Mar 15 2016 Brian D McCarthy 7:56 PM

If anyone is listening, I sort of wonder how much night driving was done on the LIMP? Was there some system of parkway lighting? Or did everyone just sort of take it nice and slow.
Old timer I used to work with jokingly referred to the LIMP as “Rumrunners Rd”. I’m sure there’s some truth to that.

Mar 16 2016 frank femenias 1:38 AM

Hi Brian,
Haven’t yet found any street lighting on the parkway. I don’t think there were any. To make matters worse, I’m told headlights back then were not as bright as today’s lamps. And with miles of fenced-out open spaces between miles of long exits, a breakdown would not be good. Check out these night shots of the LIMP - it looks pretty eerie up there.

The first two photos show a bicycle leaning on the top rail of the bridge. Or could that be Motor Pkwy Officer Zinze’s motorcycle?

I would also believe one would take it nice and slow, but after reading other stories besides rum runners; such as a speeding motorcyclist misjudging a curve at night, crashes into a barb-wired fence, and remains trapped all night before receiving assistance from an early morning passerby. If I recall correctly, he suffered broken bones (ribs?) and scrapes but survived. I’ll have to locate that story and the others.   

Mar 16 2016 Brian D McCarthy 9:28 PM

Thanks, Frank. One would have to be a regular traveler of the LIMP back then to know the tight curves, etc. Especially at night.

I started working for LILCO in 1987. I became familiar with the transmission rows since 1992, always on the lookout of LIMP and LIRR remnants. I’ve been out on disability for a few years now, so exploration has taken a backseat.

As far as that plane crash in 1939, if LILCO facilities were involved; the company may have an archived record of it. I would just have to ask the right person.

Mar 17 2016 frank femenias 11:30 PM

Brian, Sam III - Found the article of this event with a bit more detail, And with conflicting details under the same newspaper! (Brooklyn Daily Eagle) In any event, these two souls lost their lives by what appears to be mere inches!

Mar 18 2016 Brian D McCarthy 10:08 PM

Me not knowing anything about the physics of aircraft flying, but it’s a good guess things went awry way before contacting the transmission tower phase/phases. It certainly added to the stress factors either way. The electrical field surrounding the wire is wider with higher voltages. There’s normally a span of static/ground running along the highest point of the tower or steel pole. If anything is large enough to encompass ground to phase or phase to phase, end of story. I don’t know if this was done initially, but it’s now required to install “aircraft lighting fixtures” at the top of these towers, etc. Especially in the vicinity of airports. But no amount of lighting was going to stop this, very sad for them and their families.

Apr 19 2016 Ted 12:44 AM

Didn’t get a chance to get back to it,as you can see. Is it the second Deadmams Curve?
From Howard Kroplick

Ted, it is approximately one mile north of the second Deadman’s Curve.

Apr 19 2016 Ted 11:16 PM

Sorry Howard,wrong post,I meant the question to be for the mystery photos. I know it’s one of the curves,right? I hope. Thanks

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