US report: Controller sent pilot in fatal NY crash to nonexistent runway at closed airport

IndustriesAssociated Press

A preliminary accident report indicates a pilot killed when his plane crashed at a railroad crossing this month in New York had been directed by an air traffic controller to a landing strip that no longer exists at a closed airport.

Fifty-nine-year-old pilot Joseph Milo, of Westhampton Beach, was killed Aug. 16 when his single-engine aircraft hit the tracks in Hicksville. A passenger was injured.

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The National Transportation Safety Board's preliminary report issued Monday said Milo had told air traffic controllers that his Beech C35 plane was "having a little bit of a problem."

The controller then told the pilot there was a "Bethpage strip" at an airport closed decades ago at the site of a former military defense contractor.

A spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration declined to comment.