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Two Queens men killed in Long Island plane crash

The plane went down near the Moriches Inlet, according to police. Google Map
TimesLedger Newspapers

A man from Bayside and a pilot from Fresh Meadows died over the weekend when their small plane crashed into a Long Island inlet, the Suffolk County Police Department said.

According to police, Andrew Messana, 72, of Bayside and Cyril McLavin, 51, of Fresh Meadows died Saturday when their single-engine plane crashed in the Moriches Inlet on Long Island near Fire Island around 3 p.m.

Those who witnessed the crash told authorities they heard the sputtering of an engine as they watched the small Globe Swift plane crash into the Moriches Inlet, police said.

Fisherman on a nearby boat were the first to arrive at the crash site and tied a rope to the plane to try to keep it above the water, according to Suffolk County police. The plane eventually sank, police said, about 30 feet underwater with the men still inside.

Police said the men’s bodies were recovered late Saturday night around 11 p.m. after a lengthy effort to remove the aircraft from the water.

The incident is currently under investigation by federal officials.

Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4573.

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