The DOT crew then helped the plane’s occupants out of the aircraft and inside a heated truck until emergency workers arrived, the spokesman said.
It wasn’t immediately clear what kind of engine problems the plane experienced. A spokeswoman for the FAA said it was investigating but said the National Transportation Safety Board would take over the investigation if it was determined the aircraft sustained a significant amount of damage.
There were no fires or gas leaks and emergency workers removed the plane’s fuel to secure the scene, de Blasio said.
The highway was closed and emergency personnel were on the scene until about 6 p.m., when the plane was taken away on a flatbed truck to a local aviation facility, the FAA said.
FAA records indicated the plane was registered to an owner in South Salem.
Patricia Sapol, 29, of West Point, was driving south on the highway with her husband when they saw emergency vehicles surrounding the downed plane near exit 13, about 15 minutes after the landing.
“We couldn’t believe it! We thought, ‘Oh my god that’s a plane!’ It was pretty incredible,” she said. “The fact that there was no actual crash we thought was pretty surprising.”
(AP Photo: In this photo downloaded from the New York City Fire Department’s Twitter account, firefighters stand near a light airplane that made an emergency landing on the Major Deegan Expressway in the Bronx.)