A plane crash in a wooded area across from East Hampton Airport sent smoke billowing into the sky yesterday after a single engine Mooney plane went down and caught fire shortly after takeoff. The crash took place during a protest of about 30 people at the airport rallying against airplane noise.
A couple from Massachusetts were in the plane when, according to witnesses, it “crashed hard.” But thanks to the heroic efforts of Craig Schum, a bread baker from Brooklyn who is working for the summer at Levain Bakery in Wainscott, and was one of the first people to respond to the scene of the crash, worse tragedy was averted.
Craig watched the plane crash from his car, and then instinctively ran toward it, barefoot, jumped a six-foot-tall deer fence, and then helped carry the female passenger of the plane away from the crash site while she was unconscious. Her legs were still in the aircraft when he reached her, and the pilot was standing by the plane with blood all over his face and appeared in shock. The plane then later burst into flames.
If it weren’t for Schum’s actions and those of Mike Norbeck, the East Hampton Manager of Sound Aircraft Services; Jack Gleason, a 17-year-old at East Hampton High School who is getting his pilots license; and Dean Foster, a local pilot; she would have been killed in the crash. The four helped carry the female passenger away from the crash site and toward safety, where paramedics could attend to her.
This guy is a hero. I’m stopping by the Levain Bakery later to say hello today and shake his hand.