Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Luscombe 8A, N8554Y: Fatal accident occurred April 18, 2017 near Skylark Airpark (7B6), Warehouse Point, Hartford County, Connecticut

The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entities:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Hartford, Connecticut
Continental Motors Inc.; Mobile, Alabama

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report -  National Transportation Safety Board:  https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Robert J. Plourde: http://registry.faa.gov/N8554Y

NTSB Identification: ERA17FA156
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, April 18, 2017 in East Windsor, CT
Aircraft: LUSCOMBE 8, registration: N8554Y
Injuries: 2 Fatalities.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On April 18, 2017, about 1840 eastern daylight time, a Luscombe 8A, N8554Y, was substantially damaged when it collided with trees and terrain during the initial climb after takeoff from Skylark Airport (7B6), East Windsor, Connecticut. The private pilot seated in the left seat, and the private pilot seated in the right seat were fatally injured. The privately-owned airplane was operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations part 91 as a personal flight. Day, visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local flight.

A witness was standing at the departure end of runway 10 and observed the airplane take off. He reported that the airplane seemed to be lower and slower than most airplanes that he had observed as it passed overhead. He then saw the airplane shaking and tipping left and right, barely clearing the tree line past the end of the runway. He observed the airplane make a "drastic, sharp, and abrupt" turn to the north. He stopped hearing the engine, and the airplane "dropped like a stone." He then called the local authorities to report the accident.

The airplane came to rest against trees in a wooded area, about 1/2 mile northeast of 7B6. The wreckage was found in an inverted, nose-low attitude. All structure and components of the airplane were accounted for at the accident site. There was no fire. The airplane was equipped with a fuel tank in each wing. Both fuel caps were found detached from the tanks and on the ground, adjacent to the wreckage. A small amount of residual fuel, which could not be quantified was observed in the tanks. Numerous tree branches were found adjacent to the wreckage; some exhibited smooth, angular cuts and black paint transfer on the cut surfaces.

The pilot seated in the left cockpit seat held a private pilot certificate with an airplane single engine land rating. He reported 600 hours of total flight time on his most recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) third class medical certificate, dated March 24, 2017.

The pilot seated in the right cockpit seat held a private pilot certificate with an airplane single engine land rating. He also held a remote pilot certificate for small, unmanned aircraft systems. He was the registered owner of the airplane. He reported 292 hours of total flight time on his most recent FAA third class medical certificate, dated March 4, 2016.

The single-engine, high-wing, two-seat airplane was manufactured in 1946 and incorporated fixed, tailwheel landing gear. It was equipped with a Continental A65-8 reciprocating engine rated at 65 horsepower. The airplane was not equipped with wing flaps or a stall warning system. The cockpit featured dual flight controls.

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email eyewitnessreport@ntsb.gov, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov

Obituary: George Janssen II, 51

George R. Janssen, II, 51, of Vernon, beloved husband of Jennifer and father of two children George Thomas and Grace, passed away on Tuesday April 18, 2017 from injuries sustained in an aircraft accident.

Born April 13, 1966 in Hackensack, NJ to the late George R. and Irmgard Janssen and raised in Boca Raton, Florida. George was an engineer at Pratt & Whitney Aircraft in East Hartford and best known for his love of spending time with his family enjoying the outdoors.

His passion for flying began when he was 16 learning to fly at an airport near his childhood home in Boca Raton, Florida. In addition to flying, George loved to restore cars, boats, and anything with an engine!

Besides his wife and children, he is survived by his sisters; Janet Michael and her husband Elliot, Jeanne Johnson and her husband John; his in-laws, Mark and Connie Himelberger; his brothers-in-law, Cory Himelberger, Jeremy Himelberger and his wife Katie; his sister-in-law, Aimee Lewis and her husband Charles and several nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers please send donations to Unitarian Universalist Society East in Manchester.   Memorial services will be held at a later date.

Obituary: Robert J. Plourde

ELLINGTON — Robert J. Plourde, 61, of Ellington, died unexpectedly on Tuesday, April 18, 2017 in East Windsor.
Robert was born Nov. 22, 1955 in Spokane, Wash. He grew up in Naugatuck and spent the last 23 years as a resident of Ellington. He served in the United States Air Force as a sergeant specializing in electronic mechanics. Throughout the course of his life he worked at many technology companies as a sales executive, and most recently was involved with an aerial video and photography agency.

Bob, the son of the late Norman (Bob) Plourde and Anita Plourde, is survived by his beloved wife of 25 years, Jacqueline O’Brien Plourde; his children, Robert Plourde Jr., Nicole Barry, Mitchell Plourde, Spencer Plourde; his beloved grandchildren, Bobby Plourde III, Benjamin Barry, Brielle Plourde, Makena Barry; his siblings, Joe and wife, Lori, Steven, Gary, Bill and wife, Nancy, Plourde, Anita McCowan and husband, James. He was predeceased by his brother, Patrick. He also leaves behind numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews and a wonderful network of friends and neighbors.

Bob was a loving father and husband who touched the lives of all those who knew him. Some of his most precious times were spent making homemade pizzas out of his wood fired oven, and playing guitar around the campfire with his family and friends. He followed his desire to become a pilot, and mentored others who shared his love of flying. Most importantly, he will be remembered by all as kind, loving and wonderful man.

The funeral was held on Saturday, April 22, 2017 at the Ellington Congregational Church.  In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Robert may be made to the EAA Skylark Chapter 1310, 54 Wells Road, Broad Brook, CT 06016.

EAST WINDSOR, CT (WFSB) -  Investigators continue to look into what caused a small plane to crash and kill two people in East Windsor on Tuesday night.

The National Transportation Safety Board was said to have arrived on the scene just before noon on Wednesday.

A Luscombe 8A aircraft, which is a 1946 model, departed from Runway 10 at the Skylark Airport around 6:45 p.m. and crashed, about a half a mile from Skylark Airport, a short time later. 

"The indication is the airplane struck trees about 100 feet up and came to rest straight down," NTSB Sr. Air Safety Investigator Ralph Hicks said.  

An official with Skylark Airport called the two men who died "experienced pilots" and that the airport was "devastated." He called the one who was flying extremely careful. He said they didn't understand what went wrong.

The official with Skylark Airport said they had been up flying for between 30 and 45 minutes while performing landings and takeoffs. He said everything appeared fine.

On Wednesday, federal officials launched their own investigation. Both the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration were called to the scene. 

Wednesday evening, family members confirmed that the pilot who died was Bob Plourde, of Ellington.

The NTSB said the plane took a nose dive and landed in ground. The propeller was stuck in the ground and they were working with a local company to remove it.  

"Basically the aircraft is inverted and embedded in the ground and below ground level and we see one propeller blade out of the ground. We are unable to move it right now," Hicks said. 

The plane never caught on fire, Hicks added. 

Eyewitnesses said they heard the single-engine aircraft stall in the air then plunge into the woods.

“It's terrible. I don't know who they are or anything,” East Windsor resident Flo Hall said. "It's so quiet here. It's unexpected."  

Hall lives a few houses down from where the plane crashed down on private property near Rolocut Road.

“I'm not worried,” Hall said. “It's just something freaky that happened."

It's unclear where the Luscombe 8A aircraft was headed.

NTSB officials said if these planes are maintained, they will last. 

"We have plenty of airplanes like this flying," Hick said. "As long as they're maintained properly and maintained annually with their inspections, they can fly for a long time." 

Federal investigators were expected to be on the scene for at least two days to sift through evidence and try to figure out what led to the crash. NTSB officials said they still don't know why it happened and don't comment on occupants. NTSB officials added they will take it to Delaware to analyze and were trying to get maintenance reports.

There are no towers at Skylark Airport, so NTSB officials said there were no communications. 

Story and video:  http://www.wfsb.com

EAST WINDSOR —  An investigation continues after two people were killed in a plane crash near Skylark Airport Tuesday evening.

Fire officials from Broad Brook confirmed that both died in the crash. Det. Sgt. Matthew Carl said the plane came down in the woods near the airport. There was no fire at the crash scene about 1,000 feet off Rolocut Rd.

The Federal Aviation Administration says the aircraft crashed in the woods shortly after taking off from privately owned airport. It happened around 6:45 p.m. Tuesday.

The names of the two people who died have not been released.

The FAA is investigating the crash of the Luscombe 8A aircraft and will determine its cause.

He said it was a single engine plane that witnesses said stalled and went down. The plane is nose down according to Carl.

Police said witnesses describe that the plane looked like it stalled before it went down.

“It just sounded like it was dead, the motor just killed, just shut off, that was it,” neighbor Justin Griswold said. “It’s heartbreaking.”

The airport is located on Wells Road in East Windsor and typically handles small, private aircraft. The call came in around 6:30 p.m.

Broad Brook Fire Chief Tom Arcari said he’s been with the department about 40 years and recalls about four plane crashes in the area.

“The last bad crash was probably 35-40 years ago,” he said. “Three or four were killed.”

The identity of the victims in Tuesday’s crash have not been released.

Lifestar medical helicopters were called to the scene but later canceled.

Story and video:  http://fox61.com

EAST WINDSOR, Conn. (CBS Connecticut) – East Windsor police have identified the two men killed when a small plane crashed in a wooded area near Skylark Airport Tuesday evening.

Police say autopsies will be performed on the bodies of Robert J. Plourde, 61, of Ellington and George R. Janssen II, 51, of Vernon.

The plane, a 1946 Luscombe Silvaire A8, was found nose down into the ground in an area of Wells Road.

The crash remains under investigation by the East Windsor Police Department, the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board.

Two people are dead following a plane crash in East Windsor, according to the Broad Brook Fire Department. 

Tolland County Dispatch said a small plane crashed on Rolocut Road by Wells Road in Broad Brook in East Windsor.

According to the Skylark Airpark manager, the plane had just taken off before the crash. The airport is located on 54 Wells Road, within the area of the crash. 

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said they are investigating crash of a Luscombe 8A in Connecticut, according to a tweet. 

Officials said NTSB will be in charge of the investigation in the morning. 

During a press conference on Tuesday night, officials said the plane had stalled.

Two LifeStar helicopters were called to the scene before being cancelled. 

The Federal Aviation Administration has been requested to the scene. 

Original article can be found here: http://www.nbcconnecticut.com

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