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Preliminary report released by NTSB on Meriden plane crash

MERIDEN — A preliminary report on the plane crash that injured two people and caused a major blackout earlier this month.

The National Transportation and Safety Board released the report Friday.

The report detailed the moments before the crash:

The pilot reported that he intended to fly in the airport traffic pattern after routine maintenance “to see how the plane was working.” He checked the fuel level during his preflight inspection of the airplane and noted that the fuel was “to the tabs.” After completing an engine runup, he departed runway 18 at MMK. He extended the downwind leg to allow time for another airplane in the traffic pattern. After reaching an altitude of about 500 ft above ground level on the base leg, he attempted to add power to maintain altitude. The engine did not respond, and he then noticed the RPM was decreasing. When he determined that he would not reach the runway, he attempted a forced landing on a baseball field. During the approach, the airplane impacted power lines which caused the airplane to “rotate straight up” and then fall tail-first to the ground.

One witness told authorities, “The airplane appeared to be too low and descending too quickly, and he heard no engine sound. He watched the airplane strike the power lines and heard several loud “booms” as the wires shorted out.”

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