The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating a crash landing Sunday that destroyed a single-engine high-wing Cessna on Shelter Island, officials said Monday.

A pilot and two adult passengers were on board when the plane tried to land on a town-owned airstrip at about 3 p.m. but instead crashed into a pond on the south end of the airstrip, Shelter Island police said.

Pilot Marc Andre Chiffert, 55, of Manhattan, and his passengers did not require medical treatment at the scene, police said. Their destination was Shelter Island, but it was unclear if they were there for social or other reasons, police said.

Shelter Island police said "operational causes of the pilot" could not be ruled out when it careened off the airstrip, which is leased from the town by the Shelter Island Pilots' Association.

Recovery of the plane, a Cessna 172R, was completed Monday, said NTSB spokesman Keith Holloway.

Federal Aviation Administration officials went to the scene to gather evidence for NTSB investigators, who are expected to release a report as early as next week, Holloway said.

The FAA earlier in the day said that only the pilot was on board the plane when it crashed, but in a statement Monday afternoon the agency said three people were on board.

Records indicate the Cessna is owned and operated by the Richmond Pilots Corp., a Staten Island-based flight club that uses Linden Airport in Linden, N.J., as its home field.

The club has 36 members and two aircraft, said Tom McGloin, the club's president.

A photo on the club website shows the aircraft involved in the incident, a white four-seat Cessna 172 R Skyhawk.

McGloin said the club began in 1962 and called it "well-run" and its two aircraft "well-maintained."

The fixed-wing, single-engine Cessna was manufactured in 1997, according to FAA records. Records indicate it has a clean service history.

With John Valenti

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