Divers searching for the pilot of a World War Two vintage plane that crashed in the Hudson River between New York and New Jersey have recovered a body, police have said.

The single-seated P-47 Thunderbolt went down near the George Washington Bridge where a US Airways commercial jet carrying 155 people splash-landed in 2009 in what became known as the Miracle on the Hudson.

Police have not confirmed that the body is that of the pilot, the only person who was on board the plane.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the aircraft was among three planes that had departed from Republic Airport in Farmingdale, on Long Island, east of New York City.

The other two aircraft returned to the airport and landed safely.

The American Airpower Museum is celebrating the 75th anniversary of the P-47 Thunderbolt this weekend.

Search after WWII plane crashes into Hudson River in New York

The plane is said to have had engine trouble before it went down

Museum spokesman Gary Lewi said the plane was taking part in an air show at nearby Jones Beach this weekend.

“Apparently the aircraft suffered an inflight engine failure and the pilot put it into the Hudson,” Mr Lewi said. “I’m told the aircraft is at the bottom of the Hudson.”

North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue co-director Jeff Welz told The Jersey Journal that firefighters and the Coast Guard responded after the Friday night crash.

He said the plane sank “pretty quickly”.

The P47-Thunderbolts were the heaviest single-engine fighter planes used by Allied forces in World War Two.

They first went into service in 1942, with the 56th Fighter Group based on Long Island.