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    Tuesday, February 27, 2024

    Investigation into Groton plane crash continues

    Crew members with Anglin Aircraft Recovery Services look through the plane's cabin on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020, at the scene where the plane crashed into a home on Monday night at 243 Ring Drive in Groton. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
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    Groton — The National Transportation Safety Board said Wednesday that it continues to investigate the Monday night plane crash into a home on Ring Drive, and the Groton company that owns the twin-engine aircraft said it is working with investigators.  

    The Piper PA-34, built in 1974, is registered to Upgrade Incorporated of 155 Tower Ave. in Groton, according to Federal Aviation Administration records.   

    “We are cooperating with the FAA and the investigators,” Upgrade Incorporated President Ryan Gauthier said on Wednesday. He said he is not able to comment further, since the investigation is underway.  

    The plane was en route to Groton-New London Airport when it crashed about 10:38 p.m. Monday, according to the Connecticut Airport Authority.

    Groton Town police Chief Louis J. Fusaro has said the resident of the home at 243 Ring Drive was not injured and the two men on the plane were transported to Lawrence + Memorial Hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening. Authorities haven't released the identity of the plane's occupants.

    According to the FlightAware website, the plane’s schedule on Monday was to leave Groton-New London at 5:09 p.m. for arrival at Bangor International Airport in Maine, and then depart near Augusta, Maine, at 8:37 p.m. for arrival at Groton-New London Airport at 10:27 p.m. The NTSB did not confirm the flight schedule.

    NTSB Spokesman Eric Weiss said the agency is gathering and confirming details about the accident, which has been assigned to an investigator. He said more information will be available once the NTSB releases a preliminary report within the next two weeks.

    The FAA said the NTSB will be providing all further updates on the crash.  

    The homeowner, Kenneth Johnson, 73, told The Day on Tuesday that he was sleeping in his bedroom Monday night when the plane went through his home’s roof. He was able to leave the home through his bedroom window. While he was not injured, he said he was overcome by odors from the plane fuel.

    Will Healey, media relations manager with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said the Connecticut Airport Authority estimated that about 16 gallons of aviation fuel may have leaked from the plane, with the majority believed to have leaked inside the home.  

    DEEP provided the responsible party with a list of environmental contractors to provide to their insurance company for cleanup, and DEEP will follow up to ensure it was properly completed, he said.  

    “At this time, DEEP staff do not believe there is a significant environmental impact or public health risk as a result of this crash,” Healey added.  

    k.drelich@theday.com

    Crew members with Anglin Aircraft Recovery Services look through debris on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020, at the scene where a plane crashed into a home on Monday night at 243 Ring Drive in Groton. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
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    Crew members with Anglin Aircraft Recovery Services work on moving debris Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020, at the scene where a plane crashed into a home on Monday night at 243 Ring Drive in Groton. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
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    An inspector takes a photo of a propeller on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020, at the scene where a plane crashed into a home on Monday night at 243 Ring Drive in Groton. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
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    Crew members with Anglin Aircraft Recovery Services work on moving debris on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020, at the scene where a plane crashed into a home on Monday night at 243 Ring Drive in Groton. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
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