Friday, September 04, 2015
The pilot who crash landed a small Coast Guard plane in New Jersey is a longtime Rockland County volunteer known for going out of his way to help people in need, friends said Friday.
Yakov Rosenberg of Spring Valley suffered serious injuries in the crash Thursday in Cresskill but is expected to recover. He underwent surgery on his leg Thursday evening at Hackensack University Medical Center, friends said. Rosenberg is a lifelong Rockland resident and member of the Viznitz Hasidic sect.
"All his good deeds came back to him," said Rabbi Mayer Berger, operations director for Chesed Shel Emes, a Brooklyn-based group that dispatches planes and helicopters to help Jewish families retrieve sick or injured people and comply with religious burial laws. "It's a miracle."
Rosenberg, who runs a tire business, works as a volunteer pilot for the group, which was founded by his brother, Mendy.
He has also been a member of Chaverim, a service organization in Monsey, since it was founded in 1999. His wife works as a dispatcher for the same group.
"He gets up in the middle of the night to help someone change a tire or give a boost to a dead battery," said Chaverim coordinator Josef Margaretten. "If someone is lost or a child is locked in a car, he's the first to volunteer."
Rosenberg was volunteering for the Coast Guard Auxiliary, an organization that supports the Coast Guard in promoting safety for recreational boaters. He was piloting the single-engine plane and surveying the Hudson River when he radioed that he was experiencing engine trouble.
Rosenberg was trying to make an emergency landing at Teterboro airport when he crash-landed in a wooded recreational field, away from homes in the suburban Bergen County neighborhood. The sole passenger, a man from Setauket, Long Island, was seriously injured and is also expected to recover.
The Cessna 172 crash-landed in a field behind the Cresskill Swim Club, NBC 4 New York reported.
The cause of the crash has not been determined.
"He would put himself in danger so he wouldn't hurt anyone else," Margaretten said. "We're so proud of him."
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