The Piper PA-32 aircraft crashed into the river near Yonkers just before 5:30 p.m. Sunday, shortly after taking off from Trenton-Robbinsville Airport in Robbinsville, N.J., The New York Times reported. A man, 43, and a woman, 39 were on board. Their names were not reported.
"Two occupants had gotten out of the plane somehow and were in the river with flotation devices," said Lt. Philip Collins, a spokesman for the Yonkers police department.
A group of off-duty police officers -- and the 12-year-old son of one of them -- commandeered a boat to go to the crash site, the New York Daily News reported.
"They were going into shock," officer Danny Higgins said. "They were probably in the water for a good 20 minutes."
"Another 10 minutes? Forget about it. They would have been stiff," he added.
The two crash victims were taken to Yonkers Medical Center where they "are expected to survive," police said.
Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said the cause of the investigation is under investigation. She said the pilot had not filed a flight plan because visibility was good, and they flew under visual flight rules, the Times reported.