Small plane crashes in East Windsor

August 31, 2008 1:35:19 PM PDT
A pilot and his passenger were stranded at the top of some trees for several hours Sunday, after their 1930s biplane crashed just after taking off from a local airport. The single-engine de Havilland Tiger Moth apparently lost power about 200 feet from the runway at the Skylark Airpark, said Jim Peters with the Federal Aviation Administration.

Airport manager Michael Koczera said the plane glided into the stand of trees, getting stuck about 50 feet up at about 9:50 a.m.

"When he ran out of airspace, he landed on top of a tree," Koczera said. "We're not talking about a big airplane. It's a fabric plane, probably weighs about 1,000 pounds."

Neither person on board was injured, Koczera said.

A Coast Guard helicopter, the local fire department, and a tree surgeon all assisted in the rescue effort, Koczera said.

"The tree person was able to climb the tree and set up some kind of a pulley arrangement where they could remove the people by rope and tackle," Koczera said.

The plane was expected to remain in the trees until a crane can be brought in on Tuesday, he said.

The names of the pilot and passenger were not immediately released.

Koczera said they both part of a club that flies the biplane out of Springfield, Mass. The plane is registered to the club, Tiger Moth Drivers LLC.

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