Schwartz took a big risk setting down on that strip of highway. Bad move, man. Believe me. I grew up in the Bronx. I know what it’s like there.
You learn growing up in the Bronx that there are a lot of neighborhoods where a white kid just does not land his airplane.
A white kid tooling around some streets in a shiny new airplane was just asking to be jacked. At least back then.
And the parks, such as around Schwartz’s crash site, were worse. Even in the day.
One day, when I was 17, I borrowed my mom’s Piper Cub and landed in Pelham Bay Park.
It was about 11 in the morning, and this weird-looking guy started taxiing behind me.
Everywhere I taxied, he taxied.
He finally caught up to me, taxied alongside for a moment, looked around furtively, and whispered, “Ground crew services for $5.”
I was so freaked out, I didn’t say anything.
Things may be better these days.
Even so, it took chutzpah—as a pilot, an accountant, and a Jew—for Schwartz to do what he did and come out without so much as a scratch or a solicitation.
Watch below, for a related story.