The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT)

NTSB: Parking brake on in deadly crash

Investigat­ors still seeking cause of plane accident that killed 4

- By Nicholas Rondinone

FARMINGTON — While no official determinat­ion has been made about what caused the plane crash that killed the pilots and two passengers, investigat­ors from the National Transporta­tion Safety Board noted in a preliminar­y report released Tuesday that the plane’s parking brake was on.

The plane, a Cessna 560 jet, crashed into a Trumpf Inc. building in Farmington shortly after takeoff from nearby Robertson Field Airport in Plainville on Sept. 2. The crash killed pilots Mark Morrow, 57, of Danbury, and William O’Leary, 55, of Bristol, along with the passengers, Courtney Haviland, 33, and her husband, William Shrauner, 32, both doctors from Boston.

According to the threepage NTSB report, two witnesses saw the plane take off and one remarked that it was “going slower” than during normal takeoff. Another witness reported seeing a blue puff of smoke from the backside of the airplane when it was about two-thirds of the way down the runway, the report stated. One

witness recalled telling a friend that something was wrong, the report stated.

Investigat­ors visited the small airport and found tire skid marks from the right main landing gear on the runway then about 100 feet down noticed marks from the left main landing gear, the report read. The marks continued down the runway and onto a short patch of grassy terrain off the departure end of the runway, investigat­ors noted.

A witness reported seeing the plane take off and not gain altitude before it hit a power line pole, the report read.

Investigat­ors reviewed what was left of the airframe of the plane and its cockpit. While no “anomalies” were found on the frame or control panel, the investigat­ors wrote “the parking brake handle in the cockpit, and the respective valve that it controlled, were both found in the brake set position.”

The plane, according to investigat­ors, had been heading to Dare County Regional Airport in North Carolina.

The plane, after hitting the power line, eventually crashed into the Trumpf Inc. building, setting the plane and the building ablaze. On the ground, NTSB said one person was seriously injured and three others suffered minor injures.

It was unclear Tuesday when a full report on the accident would be released, but typically NTSB investigat­ions take several months.

At the time of the crash, Haviland was pregnant. She and Shrauner, who had a young son, met at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, according to a family spokespers­on. Haviland, who grew up in Farmington, joined MassGenera­l Hospital for Children in 2016 as a resident. Shrauner was a secondyear fellow at Boston Medical Center.

Both the pilots, O’Leary and Morrow, were well-known in the area for flying.

 ?? Contribute­d photo / Christophe­r Luberto ?? A fire burns in Farmington on Sept. 2, at the scene where a small jet crashed shortly after takeoff from the Plainville airport. Four people died in the crash.
Contribute­d photo / Christophe­r Luberto A fire burns in Farmington on Sept. 2, at the scene where a small jet crashed shortly after takeoff from the Plainville airport. Four people died in the crash.

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