On January 4, 2014, about 3:20 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-28-180, was substantially damaged during a forced landing on an expressway in Bronx, New York.
The private pilot and two passengers were not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed; VFR flight following was obtained. The flight originated from Danbury Municipal Airport, Danbury, CT, about 2:40 P.M.The pilot stated that the flight departed with full fuel tanks and after takeoff proceeded to the Statue of Liberty which he orbited twice. He then climbed to 1,500 feet and while in contact with the FAA LaGuardia control tower, he noticed the engine was not developing power.
Because he had switched fuel tanks 30 minutes into the flight while at the Statue of Liberty, he turned on the auxiliary fuel pump, and switched the fuel selector to the fuel tank selected for takeoff. He stated that he could not recall the tank selected for takeoff.
In attempt to restore engine power he also richened the mixture, and pushed the throttle full in, but with no affect. He declared a mayday, established best glide airspeed, and was vectored to a nearby airport but realized he would be unable to land there.
He observed an expressway with 2 closed lanes and maneuvered the airplane for landing. He did not make contact with any trees or light poles on approach to the expressway. In preparation for the forced landing he shut off the fuel and magnetos and “cracked the [cabin entry door].” After coming to rest, all occupants exited the airplane.