Roma Gupta, age 63, of Whitehouse Station in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, died, while her daughter, Reeva Gupta, age 33, of St. Davids in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, remains in critical condition following the crash in North Lindenhurst on Sunday, March 5.
The plane’s pilot, New York City resident Fayzul Chowdhury, 23, of the Bronx, also remains in critical condition at Stony Brook University Hospital.
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More than $107,000 had been raised on a GoFundMe campaign for the Gupta family as of Tuesday, March 7. According to the campaign, Reeva and Roma booked a flight lesson to fulfill a long-standing dream they shared.
"While the flight was airborne, smoke was reported in the cockpit," the page reads. "The plane tried to make an emergency landing but ultimately crashed into a neighborhood in Lindenhurst, where the plane burst into flames. Reeva and the pilot were airlifted to the closest, and best, burn center on Long Island, Stony Brook University Hospital."
Reeva suffered third-degree burns and is fighting for her life.
The plane took off from Republic Airport in East Farmingdale with three people on board at around 2:15 p.m. Sunday, March 5, Suffolk County Police said.
A short time later, the pilot issued a mayday signal and indicated there was smoke in the cockpit.
The aircraft turned back toward the airport to make an emergency landing before crashing near the intersection of Wellwood Avenue and 5th Street in North Lindenhurst, approximately 300 feet south of the Long Island Rail Road track just before 3 p.m.
The Federal Aviation Administration was notified and responded to the scene. The National Transportation Safety Board will continue the investigation to determine the cause of the crash.
This continues to be a developing story. Check back to Daily Voice for updates.
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