For a brief moment, it appeared Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger was stopping by to visit Newburgh the hard way.
A seaplane abruptly dropped out of the sky, flew behind the treeline, and landed near the east shore of the Hudson River while nearby boaters and kayakers stopped to watch. It seemed to startle many onlookers since a plane landing on the Hudson River is fairly uncommon, especially when the waterway is crowded with boaters on a hot, sunny, July 4th afternoon.
The aircraft, owned by New York City charter company Blade, approached the Newburgh waterfront, made a sharp descent, and flew head-on toward Mount Beacon. The plane passed dangerously close to the radio towers and made a sharp right turn just before the base of the mountain in what looked like a stunt scene from a movie.
The plane then flew between trees in a swampy area over the Hudson River before landing on shallow water just north of Bannerman’s Island. A person on a jet ski sat frozen as the plane neared him. A group of kayakers then exited the swampy area, indicating the the plane approached them from behind and not far over their heads.
The seaplane next headed out to the center of the river and proceeded south at a high rate of speed, forcing boats and jet skiers to quickly scatter to get out of its way. The pilot stopped at Cold Spring Beach for a break.
The pilot then throttled up and sped north up the Hudson River, despite numerous boaters, water skiers, jet skiers, and kayakers in front of him. They all rushed in various directions to get out of the way.
The plane took off, circled barely over the treeline on Storm King Mountain, and flew directly over West Point, which is a federally designated no-fly zone.
The Newburgh News, LLC caught the landing on video: