A small single-engine aircraft landed safely in the surf off Rockaway Beach last night after its pilot reported he and his two passengers were having a "rough ride," the Federal Aviation Administration said.

The pilot and passengers in the Piper PA28 model plane were not hurt in the 7 p.m. incident, said FAA spokeswoman Arlene Salac. The plane landed near Beach 56th Street.

Harbor and aviation units of the New York Police Department responded to the scene, said Lt. John Grimpel, a NYPD spokesman. The occupants of the plane were not identified.

But Fox 5 News interviewed one passenger, identified as Clark Oler, who said the incident was not stressful.

"It was a really smooth landing," he said.

Police say the plane took off from Farmingdale, where Republic Airport is located, and was headed west but its destination was not known.

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The plane was not headed for nearby Kennedy Airport, said a Port Authority of New York and New Jersey spokeswoman.

Salac and Grimpel said the incident will be investigated.

The plane is registered to Plane Nonsense Inc., a company based in Bear, Del., according to FAA records.