The three people aboard the seaplane that crashed into a pier in Queens, — killing one — were on their way home from an afternoon lunch in Maine, a friend told The Post Monday.
The pilot, Joe Oppedisano, “was going up to Maine for lunch with friends of his,” before the fatal Sunday crash near the Throgs Neck Bridge in Whitestone, the close pal said outside Oppedisano’s waterfront home on Riverside Drive.
Oppedisano was in the single-engine Cessna 182 with his friend Jose and the pal’s “wife or girlfriend Maggie,” said the man, who did not want to be identified.
Police said passenger Maggie O’Neill, 61, was killed when the seaplane slammed into the pier at around 3 p.m. at Powells Cove Boulevard and 158th Street – just blocks away from Oppedisano’s home.
The family friend claimed that Oppedisano had already remotely opened the door of the private hangar in the back of his home where he stored the plane before the wreck.
Oppedisano “opened the garage with the remote and we don’t know, maybe the throttle got stuck when he was turning around on the water,” the friend said, adding, that officials “don’t know for sure yet.”
Both Oppedisano, who owns Il Bacco Italian restaurant in Little Neck, and the other man aboard the plane were injured in the crash.
Another pal of Oppedisano’s said Sunday that the pilot “was going to be OK.”
The Federal Aviation Administration could not immediately confirm Monday that the seaplane was returning from Maine before the crash.
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