Plane crashes into Hudson River between Germantown and Catskill

Update, Friday, 5/3/2013: The body of the pilot, 72-year-old Copake resident Michael B. Braunstein, was recovered by divers on Friday, about 24 hours after the plane crashed.

A small plane crashed into the Hudson River between Greene and Columbia Counties around 4:30pm Thursday afternoon. According to multiple news accounts, the plane was on fire as it sank beneath the surface of the water. 

At least one person is presumed dead in the crash, the Times-Union reports, and responders on the scene had not yet been able to find the plane as of 8pm:

At an 8 p.m. briefing, State Police said the plane hadn't been located and the current may be moving it around, either northward or southward. The water depth is about 25 feet in the crash area and sonar is being used. Police ask that if anyone spots debris to call (518) 622-8600 to report it to troopers in the Catskill office.

Police believe they know the identity of the pilot -- a local resident -- but are not yet publicly releasing it, the Daily Freeman reports:

At around 5:30 p.m., state police Capt. Robert Patnaude spoke to the press and said that no one had yet been recovered from the river and only debris had been found. He said the pilot of the pontoon plane had taken off from Columbia County Airport in Hudson.

Patnaude said police believe they know the identity of the pilot and had contacted family members, but they were not releasing the pilot’s identity. He did, however, say the pilot is a local resident. He was uncertain if there were any other passengers on board.

The Freeman also spoke to some local witnesses on the west bank of the river, who were fishing when the plane hit the water, and has a video of them describing the plane's impact. 

The Register-Star reports that Lower Main Street in Germantown has been closed off and set up as a command center for the response. 

We will update this post as we learn more.