March 08, 2023
A Delaware County native remains in critical condition after she was injured in a small plane crash on Long Island on Sunday afternoon that killed her mother and injured their pilot, officials said.
Reeva Gupta, 33, a native of St. Davids, boarded a single-engine plane with her mother, Roma Gupta, 63, of Hunterdon County, New Jersey, at the Republic Airport in East Farmingdale around 2:18 p.m., according to the Suffolk County Police Department. The women were joined by their pilot, 23-year-old Fayzul Chowbury, Radnor Patch reported.
Shortly after takeoff, Chowdbury issued a "mayday signal" and alerted air traffic control that there was smoke in the plane's cockpit. The plane attempted an emergency landing before crashing near the intersection of Fifth Street and North Wellwood Avenue in Lindenhurst, New York on the southern shore of Long Island, just before 3 p.m., NJ.com reported.
Roma Gupta was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, while Reeva Gupta and Chowdbury were transported to Stony Brook University Medical Center in critical condition, where they both remain as of Wednesday. The two survivors were airlifted by police helicopter by the East Farmingdale Volunteer Fire Company, the organization wrote in a Facebook post.
The cause of the crash remains unknown, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. The plane involved in the crash is owned by the Danny Waizman Flight School. Oleh Dekajlo, an attorney for the flight school, told People that Chowdhury was conducting a "demonstration flight" for the Guptas after the women found a Groupon for the flight school.
Reeva Gupta has been working as a physician assistant at Mount Sinai West in New York City since 2014 after graduating from Drexel University in 2011 and then earning her physician assistant certificate from St. John's University, according to her LinkedIn. A group of other physician assistants organized a GoFundMe campaign to support Reeva Gupta and her family as she begins her recovery.
They're raising money for medical expenses, family travel and food assistance, remarking that the two women "had a beautiful day planned" to "fulfill a a long-standing wish of theirs" when they boarded the plane on Sunday afternoon.
The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration will investigate the crash, News12 Long Island reported.