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NTSB Issues First Report On Fatal Plane Crash In New Milford

A plane crashed near the Candlelight Farms Airport in New Milford on Aug. 11. It had taken off early from Danbury Municipal Airport. Aerial photo courtesy of NBC Connecticut.
A plane crashed near the Candlelight Farms Airport in New Milford on Aug. 11. It had taken off early from Danbury Municipal Airport. Aerial photo courtesy of NBC Connecticut. Photo Credit: Courtesy of NBC Connecticut

NEW MILFORD, Conn. — The National Transportation Safety Board has issued a report about the crash of a Cessna airplane that had taken off from Danbury Airport, killing a flight instructor onboard and seriously injuring the student pilot.

But the NTSB report, which included many details on the plane and the incident, did not directly address the cause of the crash.

At 9:30 a.m. Aug. 11, the Cessna "collided with terrain" at Candlelight Farms Airport in New Milford, on the Sherman border, the NTSB report said.

Anthony Morasco, 57, the instructor onboard was killed. The student pilot, Caitlin Jellen, 17, of Sherman, suffered critical injuries. Her father, Peter Jellen, was a passenger in a rear seat. He was hurt but managed to walk from the crash scene to get help.

The cockpit featured dual flight controls, which means the student pilot and the flight instructor could both control the airplane.

Related story: Instructor Killed, 2 Hurt In Plane Crash Near Sherman Border

Caitlin Jellen, who was seated in the left cockpit seat, did not possess a Federal Aviation Administration student pilot certificate or a FAA medical certificate. She was enrolled as a student at Arrow Aviation and had logged about 15 hours total flight time, the NTSB said.

Morasco was seated in the right cockpit seat. He held flight instructor and commercial pilot certificates. He reported 3,900 hours total flight time to the FAA in October 2012, but his pilot logbooks have not been located, the NTSB said.

The airplane, which was owned and operated by Arrow Aviation at Danbury Airport, was "substantially damaged" upon impact, the NTSB said. The plane took off from Danbury Airport at 8:35 a.m. in clear skies and winds of 6 knots, with a visibility of 10 miles, the NTSB said.

There were no eyewitnesses to the crash. A local resident heard the airplane's engine before the accident, however, he did not see the airplane in flight, the NTSB said.

No flight plan was filed for the local, instructional flight, the NTSB said.

The plane crashed about 1,000 feet northwest of the airport boundary. The wreckage was found in an upright position, with all components accounted for. The nose landing gear separated during impact.

There was no fire. The airplane was equipped with a fuel tank in each wing, and both tanks contained fuel, the NTSB said.

Related story: Problems Began Over Runway For Plane That Crashed In Danbury, NTSB Says

Another airplane from Arrow Aviation crashed on July30, killing the pilot. The Cessna Skyhawk began to roll shortly after takeoff from Danbury Airport, lost altitude and hit the ground on a brushy hillside above the town Dog Park just beyond the runway, the NTSB said.

The pilot, Mark Stern of Redding, died four days after the crash. Two passengers suffered serious injuries.

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