MERIDEN — The pilot who crashed a single engine plane on the Wilcox Technical High School baseball field earlier this month had just conducted routine maintenance, according to an initial report by the National Transportation Safety Board.
Two men suffered minor injuries in the April 11 crash, which knocked out power to much of the city.
The pilot told investigators he intended “to see how the plane was working,” following routine maintenance at nearby Meriden Markham Airport
The pilot said the plane reached an altitude of 500 feet, but when he tried to maintain altitude, the engine did not respond and the RPMs began decreasing, the report stated.
Once the pilot realized he wouldn’t reach the runway, he attempted a forced landing in the baseball field of the school. During the approach, the plane hit power lines, which caused the aircraft to rotate straight up, then fall tail first, the report said.
Investigators examined the plane and noticed the fuselage behind the wings and the plane’s tail section were crushed forward by the impact. The edges of both wings were damaged in multiple areas and a wire tore through the left wing.
Investigators stated no flight plan was filed for the flight.
The pilot was taken to Saint Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury and the passenger was taken by LifeStar helicopter to Hartford Hospital, state police said. Authorities did not release their names.
The pilot held a private pilot license with a rating for single-engine aircraft and had an FAA third-class medical certificate issued in 2017, at which time he reported 311 hours of total flight experience.