A Smithtown man at the controls of a single-engine plane made a dramatic emergency landing on a road at Robert Moses State Park Saturday morning after experiencing engine problems.
The Cessna 172 landed safely and the pilot, Boaz Eidelberg, 69, walked away unharmed.
Eidelberg, who has been flying for two decades, said he had been in the air for about 45 minutes when the engine began making strange noises.
His first thought? "Just find a place to bring it down."
Eidelberg, who had no passengers, didn't think he could make it back to Long Island MacArthur Airport in Islip, so he settled for one of the beach park's least-busy roads.
On his first attempt, he said he couldn't line up with the road. On his second pass, a vehicle was in the way.
On the third approach, he brought the plane down on the two-lane road near the Field 4 parking area.
Eidelberg said he rented the plane to practice some flying techniques and took off shortly before 8 a.m. He said he was in constant contact with the MacArthur control tower throughout the incident.
"You get nervous -- absolutely," he said.
The FAA is investigating the reported engine trouble, said George Gorman, deputy regional director of New York State Parks Long Island.
The four-seat plane was rented from Mid-Island Air Service Inc. in Ronkonkoma. The company declined to comment Saturday. With Robert Brodsky