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Cops: Third body recovered after plane crash was pilot

Police and recovery boats gather around a buoy

Police and recovery boats gather around a buoy marking the spot where wreckage of a small plane was found off Atlantic Avenue Beach in Amagansett on Friday. Credit: Gordon M. Grant

A third body recovered last week from the wreckage of the small-plane crash off Amagansett was identified Wednesday as the pilot, East Hampton Town police said.

The search for the remaining victim, William Maerov, 22, of East Hampton, was called off as of 3 p.m. Wednesday, Chief Michael Sarlo said.

Maerov is the grandson of Bernard and Bonnie Krupinski, luxury developers from East Hampton whose bodies were recovered shortly after the June 2 crash. Both were 70.

The body of pilot Jon Dollard, 47, of Hampton Bays, was recovered Friday. The Suffolk County medical examiner’s office identified the victim as Dollard, Sarlo said Wednesday.

The Piper PA-31 Navajo that crashed into the Atlantic Ocean was discovered Thursday afternoon about a mile off Atlantic Avenue Beach, about 45 feet under water, in an area where visibility is 3 to 5 feet, Sarlo said.

Sarlo said East Hampton police divers, with help from Southampton Town police divers, had searched for the fourth victim.

The plane, which was coming from Rhode Island, crashed as it approached East Hampton Airport, Sarlo said.

The Federal Aviation Administration lost contact with the plane at 2:33 p.m., a time when heavy rain and squalls were reported off the coast, authorities said.

The plane crashed about 2 miles off Indian Wells Beach at about 3:20 p.m. The Coast Guard, which helped lead the air, water and shoreline search, then received a report of a debris field. The Krupinskis’ bodies were found not long after.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the FAA are investigating the cause of the crash.

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