Wallingford police confirmed that Joseph Tomanelli, 56 of Cheshire, died and his son Daniel, 21, of Hamden, was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. The son was found conscious and alert near the plane's wreckage.
Calls reporting the crash on a road next to Meriden-Markham Airport, in Wallingford near the Meriden border came in at around 6:30 p.m. Monday.
The Meriden Police Department released the following 911 calls from the crash on Tuesday morning:
Hartford HealthCare released the following statement on Tuesday morning:
"Medical Center, Hartford HealthCare Medical Group and all of us at Hartford HealthCare offer our heartfelt condolences to Dr. Joseph Tomanelli, his family, friends, colleagues and patients. We are incredibly shocked and saddened to learn of this tragedy – Dr. Tomanelli was a well-known and esteemed primary care physician in our community for years and will be tremendously missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with all who knew him."
Police closed the road and said it would reopen sometime Tuesday morning.
In a press conference held by the NTSB Tuesday afternoon, they said after interviewing witnesses and gathering local statements from observers in the area, it was determined that the aircraft at the time was practicing "touch-and go-landings". NTSB said witnesses said in the first set of landings, the aircraft appeared to go faster than normal, bounced approximately twice, took off again then went around the track pattern and came around again for another set of landing.
In the second set of landings, witnesses told NTSB the aircraft touched down again but this time not as fast. However, witnesses told NTSB that the aircraft flared and began bouncing where it became airborne, rolled to the left, then impacted where it ended up in the road way damaged.
The string of small plane crashes, in no surprise, grabbed the attention of private pilots based in Connecticut. Hartford based pilot Lindsey Rutka, who flies a six-seat piper said "It's rare to have this many incidents happen in an area. What we strive for every time we fly is making sure we are safe."
Barry Alexander, a certified flight instructor and current 747 pilot from Newington, echoed the sentiments of his friend Rutka. "Flying is not like riding a bike," he said. "If you don't use your skills you will lose them so it's incumbent upon pilots to stay current."
Alexander said of the crash in Wallingford, "It's something we wish never happened."
Last week a small plane crashed near the airport in East Windsor, killing both people on board.