Commuter Plane Crashes at Sikorsky

No one was hurt in the crash, officials said.

A single-engine plane carrying seven people has crashed at Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Stratford. No one was injured, according to local officials and the Federal Aviation Administration.

The plane, a Pilatus-PC-12, crashed through a metal fence of a runway at 7:57 a.m. as it was landing, according to the FAA and airport officials. The was put in place as a safety precaution, according to the Bridgeport Fire Department.

Two of the seven people onboard are crew members.

FAA spokesman Jim Peters said the plane landed long, meaning it ran out of runway and smashed through fencing. The plane touched town 250 to 300 feet further down the runway than it should have and simply ran out of room, airport officials said.

Airport manager John Ricci said fog likely caused the crash.

The Department of Environmental Protection is at the scene because of 10-gallon fuel leak that occurred when the left wing of the plan struck the fence.

Peters told the Associated Press that the plane is registered to Difly Inc. of Portsmouth, N.H. The plane was manufactured in 2008, the Hartford Courant reports.

According to Flight Aware, the plane left Norwood Memorial Airport, south of Boston, at 6:15 a.m. and was scheduled to arrive at Sikorsky at 7:07 a.m.

“We are thankful that seven people were able to walk away from this unfortunate accident,” Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch said in a statement released Friday. “It is time to put partisan politics aside, and move forward with the long overdue federally mandated safety zone improvements that the City of Bridgeport has been trying to make for many years.”

The Pilatus PC-12 has eight seats, according to Flying Magazine.

In 1994, eight people were killed in a crash at Sikorsky. After Friday's crash, the airport manager reinforced the need for a buffer zone at the end of the runway.

The airport is located in Stratford, but is owned by the City of Bridgeport. The city bought the airport in 1937, when it was known as Mollison Field. Many now-famous aviators have visited the airport, including Amelia Earhart, Charles Lindbergh and Howard Hughes.

The airport was named after Igor Sikorsky, of the Sikorsky Aviation Company. 


Copyright AP - Associated Press
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