Pam Hearne said she heard a "thunk" outside her home Tuesday morning, but she thought it was the usual morning ruckus caused by neighbors loading stuff onto trucks.
When she returned home from work, she glanced into her backyard and saw a severed human leg, naked but for the white Adidas sneaker on its foot. Hearne, a special education teacher, said she was "very scared" when she saw the limb.
Port Authority and Nassau County police said the leg appeared to be that of a stowaway who climbed into the wheel well of South African Airways Flight 203, which originated in Johannesburg but stopped in Dakar, Senegal, before heading to Kennedy international airport.
Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Jim Peters said the pilot would have started lowering the plane's landing gear over Floral Park, about five miles from the airport.
Peters said a Customs agent at the airport found another leg hanging from a wheel well.