The leader of a group that advocates for local pilots was killed Thursday when the single-engine airplane he was flying appears to have lost a wing and crashed in East Hampton, authorities said.
The pilot, 57-year-old Kent Feuerring of Sagaponack, who was president of the East Hampton Aviation Association, was flying solo in his 2022 Seamax M-22 when the crash occurred at about 12:35 p.m. October 6, according to the East Hampton Town Police Department and the Federal Aviation Administration.
“Witnesses of the accident reported seeing what appeared to be a wing that broke off the fuselage before the aircraft spiraled downward into the water,” police said in a statement.
The plane crashed on the banks of Three Mile Harbor near Springy Banks Road in the Northwest Harbor section of East Hampton, police said.
It was a tragic end for a man who advocated for pilots who use East Hampton Airport, which is currently the subject of litigation between aviation interests and the Town of East Hampton seeking to enact new restrictions to address noise complaints.
“We strive to help create and maintain a safe, economically self-sustaining, and valuable resource, the East Hampton Airport,” Feuerring is quoted as saying on his group’s website. He was also a longtime advertising executive who got his start in Hollywood, where he was a production accountant on the Academy Award-winning film Glengarry Glen Ross, according to his LinkedIn profile.
“Kent Fuerring was committed to flying and the East Hampton Airport,” said Erin King Sweeney, executive director of the East Hampton Community Alliance, which also advocates for the airport and its pilots. “As president of the East Hampton Aviation Association, Kent put his heart into supporting the airport and local pilots who shared his love of flying.”
EHTPD detectives, the Federal Aviation Administration, National Transportation Safety Board, Suffolk Medical Examiner’s office and the U.S. Coast Guard responded to the scene. The NTSB will be in charge of the investigation and will provide additional updates, the FAA said.
“Our thoughts and prayers and condolences go to the family and friends,” East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc said at a town board meeting shortly after the crash.
EHTPD detectives asked anyone with additional information or who may have witnessed the seaplane crash to contact them at 631-537-7575.