Cirrus Pilot Deploys Chute

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A Cirrus SR22 pilot escaped from his airplane after deploying the ballistic chute and landing in a cove near a nuclear power plant off New York's Hudson River on Thursday afternoon. Ilan Reich, 50, had been flying westbound when he issued a mayday and then pulled the chute, according to local news reports. Cirrus Design spokeswoman Kate Dougherty told AVweb yesterday that details are still sketchy but it appears that Reich experienced a medical emergency while flying. The airplane splashed down about 50 feet from shore and Reich broke through a window with a hammer, which is provided in the cockpit for just such an occasion. Reich was treated at a local hospital and went home on Friday. The aircraft was recovered from about 30 feet of water on Saturday. The crash raised concerns among local officials about the security of the nearby Indian Point nuclear reactor. "A catastrophe at Indian Point would be an emergency for the entire metropolitan region," State Assemblyman Ryan Karben told TheJournalNews.com. "We need to take proper preventative measures and minimize the potential for any sort of accident to occur." A spokesman for the plant said there is already a restricted zone around the plant and a small plane crashing into the building would not damage the structure.