Flight instructor in East Hartford plane crash owns 2 CT schools - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Flight instructor in East Hartford plane crash owns 2 CT schools

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Eyewitness News learned more about flight instructor Arian Prevalla, who survived yesterday's crash in East Hartford. Eyewitness News learned more about flight instructor Arian Prevalla, who survived yesterday's crash in East Hartford.
MERIDEN, CT (WFSB) -

While investigators still have so many questions surrounding Tuesday's crash, Eyewitness News learned more about the flight instructor who survived.

Eyewitness News visited the Meriden Markham Airport on Wednesday.

Arian Prevalla used to run Meriden’s airport and also had a flight school there. Now he operates schools out of two locations, one in Hartford and East Haven.

Those who know Prevalla said he's a good pilot, with plenty of experience.

"Long time pilot, good pilot too,” pilot David Pepe, who is the former airport commission chair, said.

Pepe remembered Prevalla from the Meriden Markham Airport. Prevalla also served as airport manager.

"Took care of maintenance, snow plowing, gas sales, rentals, and of course the flight school,” Pepe said.

But, the city eventually broke its contract with Prevalla and took over the airport. Commission meeting minutes show there with issues on agreed upon renovations, snow removal, and runway lights.

Prevalla was in the Twin Engine Piper Pa-34 Senecca along with a flight student when it crashed on East Hartford's Main Street on Tuesday afternoon. He managed to escape the burning aircraft and get help. 

Prevalla was at the Connecticut Burn Center at Bridgeport Hospital with serious burns on Wednesday after. Eyewitness News was told he's in critical condition and is expected to survive. Investigators have already talked to Prevalla about the crash.  

An online bio states Prevalla is originally from Albania and that he began his aviation career back in 1994 as an air marshal.

A licensed pilot, he started the Connecticut Flight Academy in 2006 with one plane and one flight instructor...and continued to grow.

"He had a lot of students, flight instructors, a fleet of aircraft and he shared them between Meriden and Brainard,” Pepe said.

Then in 2014 he started the American Flight Academy out of East Haven, and just this July, his Hartford-based flight school adopted that same name.

"He had a lot of time in twin aircraft and was surprised to hear that, made me wonder what exactly had gone on,” Pepe said.

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