Police Release Names of Victims of Westhampton Beach Plane Crash

A screencap of video provided by News 12 Long Island showing aftermath of the plane crash. (AP Photo/News 12, Long Island)

New York State Police have identified the victims of Sunday’s crash of a vintage plane on Long Island that left two people dead and one injured.

The plane crashed just beyond a runway and burst into flames while practicing takeoffs and landings at Francis S. Gabreski Airport in Westhampton Beach. The crash killed flight instructor Arieh Narkunski, z”l, of Brooklyn and backseat passenger Robert A. Wilkie of Hempstead. Richard Rosenthal, the owner of the Ryan Navion F plane, was the lone survivor. According to Newsday, Rosenthal was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.

Rosenthal is an attorney in Kew Gardens, Queens, who calls himself “The Dog Lawyer.” According to his website, which features the headline “Saving Dogs on Death Row,” Rosenthal specializes in “Animal Law and Dangerous Dog Defense,” defending pet owners whose dogs who are seized by animal-control.

He was struggling to get out of the plane when National Guard members who’d been doing a training exercise nearby arrived and helped him. Unfortunately, the rescuers could not reach Narkunski or Wilkie because of the fire.

It’s not clear who was flying the plane when it crashed.

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