Kent Feuerring of Sagaponack, seen at 2019 Hampton Classic, has...

Kent Feuerring of Sagaponack, seen at 2019 Hampton Classic, has been identified as the pilot killed Thursday in a single-engine plane crash off Three Mile Harbor. He was 57. Credit: SocietyAllure.com/Rob Rich

The pilot of a single-engine plane, who was also the president of the East Hampton Aviation Association, was killed Thursday afternoon when his aircraft crashed off Three Mile Harbor north of East Hampton, police said. 

East Hampton Town police received a 911 call shortly after 12:30 p.m., reporting the crash on the water's edge along Oyster Shores. Police said it appeared the plane suffered “some kind of catastrophic mechanical failure,” causing it to crash.

The pilot was identified Thursday evening as Kent Feuerring, 57, of Sagaponack.

Besides heading the local aviation association, Feuerring was a partner in a film production company called apictures and an advertising executive, according to his LinkedIn page. He produced commercials for companies like Tylenol and Cadillac and split his time between New York and Los Angeles, according to the profile.

Witnesses told police they saw "what appeared to be a wing that broke off the fuselage before the aircraft spiraled downward into the water," according to an email from Christopher L. Anderson, a captain with the East Hampton Town police.

FAA officials said the plane was a Seamax M-22 fixed-wing amphibious aircraft with two seats. The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate, with the crash scene handled by the NTSB, which handles all aircraft incidents. 

An NTSB investigator reported that the plane's right wing was found 500 to 1,000 feet from the fuselage, agency spokesman Peter Knudson said Friday. The investigator also “indicated there was surveillance video of the aircraft spinning to the ground,” Knudson said. 

A Flight Aware history of the plane's registration number shows it was registered in East Hampton in April. The plane took off from East Hampton Town Airport at 12:19 p.m. Thursday. The plane was in the air for about nine minutes and was last seen at 12:28 p.m. near East Hampton, according to online records.

Erin King Sweeney, an aviation attorney and director of the airport advocacy group the East Hampton Community Alliance, said she worked with Feuerring weekly in his efforts to keep the East Hampton Airport open. She said he was an avid pilot, photographer and filmmaker, who also loved boating and drove an old Porsche around town.

“He loved local aviation and was always an advocate for local pilots,” King Sweeney said. “He would fly several times a week and loved the East End and being out in the sky flying.”

She said he knew the importance of the airport to the local community and worked with local pilots. He also hosted weekend events called "Just Plane Funday," where he would gather pilots to meet with children and members of the community to show off planes and encourage flying.

James Brundige, director of the East Hampton Airport, said Feuerring was a vocal advocate for pilots. The roughly 90-member association works to generate revenue for the airport for needed maintenance. He also worked for nonprofit Wings Over Haiti, where pilots would fly goods and food to Haiti.

“He was an all-around good guy and very generous with his time,” Brundige said.

King Sweeney, a former Hempstead Town councilwoman who lives in North Carolina and returns monthly to Long Island, said news of the crash spread quickly through the aviation community.

“It‘s gut-wrenching for anyone who knew Kent. He was always a phone call away and anyone in the community can remember what an amazing person he was,” King Sweeney said. “There’s risk in everything we do, but he had a passion for it and loved to fly in the morning to enjoy the beautiful Hamptons and sky. He loved just to see the sky and fly over the area.”

Diana Aceti, director of development at the South Fork Natural History Museum, was friends with Feuerring for nearly two decades.

“He was an amazing friend and father and a complete angel to the whole community,” she said. “We are absolutely stunned at his loss. It's going to be a major loss for community. He had a heart of gold. He reached out to all his friends, always offering them to fly them someplace. He was such an unusual person in that he was so beloved by the whole community.”

Preliminary findings from the crash investigation might be released in three weeks and a final report within 12 to 24 months, the NTSB's Knudson said. 

With Joan Gralla and John Valenti

The pilot of a single-engine plane, who was also the president of the East Hampton Aviation Association, was killed Thursday afternoon when his aircraft crashed off Three Mile Harbor north of East Hampton, police said. 

East Hampton Town police received a 911 call shortly after 12:30 p.m., reporting the crash on the water's edge along Oyster Shores. Police said it appeared the plane suffered “some kind of catastrophic mechanical failure,” causing it to crash.

The pilot was identified Thursday evening as Kent Feuerring, 57, of Sagaponack.

Besides heading the local aviation association, Feuerring was a partner in a film production company called apictures and an advertising executive, according to his LinkedIn page. He produced commercials for companies like Tylenol and Cadillac and split his time between New York and Los Angeles, according to the profile.

Witnesses told police they saw "what appeared to be a wing that broke off the fuselage before the aircraft spiraled downward into the water," according to an email from Christopher L. Anderson, a captain with the East Hampton Town police.

FAA officials said the plane was a Seamax M-22 fixed-wing amphibious aircraft with two seats. The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate, with the crash scene handled by the NTSB, which handles all aircraft incidents. 

An NTSB investigator reported that the plane's right wing was found 500 to 1,000 feet from the fuselage, agency spokesman Peter Knudson said Friday. The investigator also “indicated there was surveillance video of the aircraft spinning to the ground,” Knudson said. 

Plane crash victim Kent Feuerring in March 2019. 

Plane crash victim Kent Feuerring in March 2019.  Credit: Veronique Louis

A Flight Aware history of the plane's registration number shows it was registered in East Hampton in April. The plane took off from East Hampton Town Airport at 12:19 p.m. Thursday. The plane was in the air for about nine minutes and was last seen at 12:28 p.m. near East Hampton, according to online records.

Erin King Sweeney, an aviation attorney and director of the airport advocacy group the East Hampton Community Alliance, said she worked with Feuerring weekly in his efforts to keep the East Hampton Airport open. She said he was an avid pilot, photographer and filmmaker, who also loved boating and drove an old Porsche around town.

“He loved local aviation and was always an advocate for local pilots,” King Sweeney said. “He would fly several times a week and loved the East End and being out in the sky flying.”

She said he knew the importance of the airport to the local community and worked with local pilots. He also hosted weekend events called "Just Plane Funday," where he would gather pilots to meet with children and members of the community to show off planes and encourage flying.

James Brundige, director of the East Hampton Airport, said Feuerring was a vocal advocate for pilots. The roughly 90-member association works to generate revenue for the airport for needed maintenance. He also worked for nonprofit Wings Over Haiti, where pilots would fly goods and food to Haiti.

“He was an all-around good guy and very generous with his time,” Brundige said.

King Sweeney, a former Hempstead Town councilwoman who lives in North Carolina and returns monthly to Long Island, said news of the crash spread quickly through the aviation community.

“It‘s gut-wrenching for anyone who knew Kent. He was always a phone call away and anyone in the community can remember what an amazing person he was,” King Sweeney said. “There’s risk in everything we do, but he had a passion for it and loved to fly in the morning to enjoy the beautiful Hamptons and sky. He loved just to see the sky and fly over the area.”

Diana Aceti, director of development at the South Fork Natural History Museum, was friends with Feuerring for nearly two decades.

“He was an amazing friend and father and a complete angel to the whole community,” she said. “We are absolutely stunned at his loss. It's going to be a major loss for community. He had a heart of gold. He reached out to all his friends, always offering them to fly them someplace. He was such an unusual person in that he was so beloved by the whole community.”

Preliminary findings from the crash investigation might be released in three weeks and a final report within 12 to 24 months, the NTSB's Knudson said. 

With Joan Gralla and John Valenti

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