Police identify person who died in East Haven plane crash - WFSB 3 Connecticut

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Police identify person who died in East Haven plane crash

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Pablo Campos-Isona of East Haven was killed in the plane crash (East Haven Mayor's office/Facebook) Pablo Campos-Isona of East Haven was killed in the plane crash (East Haven Mayor's office/Facebook)
A plane with two people on board crashed near Roses Farm Road in East Haven. (East Haven Mayor's office photo) A plane with two people on board crashed near Roses Farm Road in East Haven. (East Haven Mayor's office photo)
The PIPER PA-38-112 plane that crashed in East Haven. (FlightAware photo) The PIPER PA-38-112 plane that crashed in East Haven. (FlightAware photo)
The conditions at Tweed New Haven Airport at the time of the crash. (WFSB photo) The conditions at Tweed New Haven Airport at the time of the crash. (WFSB photo)
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EAST HAVEN, CT (WFSB) -

One man is dead and another is in critical condition after a plane crash in East Haven not far from Tweed New Haven Airport.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the Piper PA 38 aircraft went down just south of the airport around 10 a.m. on Wednesday. There were only two people on board the training flight and they were an instructor from the Connecticut Flight Academy and a student pilot.

"This accident occurred approximately 9:57 a.m.," said Mayor Joseph Maturo of East Haven. "[A call] came in from a resident of Roses Farm Road, south of the runway." 

Police said 31-year-old Pablo Campos Isona, of East Haven, died at the scene. It is unclear if he was flying the plane at the time of the crash.

The other victim, who was not identified, was transported to Yale-New Haven Hospital. That victim has since been moved out of the hospital's trauma center and into the surgical intensive care unit. However, he's still in critical condition. Officials said he has broken bones.

Hear the 911 calls that were made, here.

Authorities said it was a 2-seat single engine training plane. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, it was on approach to Tweed.

Maturo said it had come from the Connecticut Flight Academy, which is also known as American flight academy at Tweed. It's tail number was N2452C.

"The plane had just taken off when it reported a mayday," Maturo said. "Turning around, it fell from the sky."

An eyewitness reported that he saw the plane quietly go into a nosedive.

"As I opened the door, I looked up at the plane, it's second nature living here so long," said Paul D'Agostino, an eyewitness who lives in the area. "I looked up at the plane, immediately knew something was wrong."

D'Agostino said the plane was way off from the runway. He said it was sort of gliding by horizontally and it flipped up before the nose went straight.

"It was so quiet, it was so silent," he said. "It was running, but it just did a nose dive about a quarter of a mile out of the sky straight into the marsh.”

Firefighters said they had a visual of the plane about 25 yards off the southeast side of the airport's "runway 2."

Police confirmed that they found the plane off of Roses Farm Road in a swampy area.

"It took approximately 15 minutes to locate the plane," Maturo said. 

Emergency officials said getting to the crash site was difficult. They said there was about 2 feet of muddy water and about 10 feet of grass.

For photos of the scene, click here.

They asked to keep that road, along with Silver Sands Road, clear for emergency personnel.

The area is close to Long Island Sound.

There's no word on a cause and it's unclear if both or one of the people on the plane was operating at the time of the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board was taking over the investigation and a preliminary report by NTSB was expected to be completed in 10 days.. 

"Preliminary, they reported they were doing practice take offs and landings in the local traffic pattern and shortly after take off they reported a generic emergency, a mayday, but weren't specific," Robert Gretz with the NTSB, said. "We'll be looking at pilot's recent and overall experience, aircraft, and the environment looking at heather data, radar data, getting the audio taps from the tower."

Officials from the FAA were called to the scene and helping with the investigation. A recovery company based out of Delaware will be in East Haven on Thursday and work to get the plane out of the swamp. 

"There are times you look up and you say, 'whoa, that's close,'" D'Agostino said. "But this morning, I just watched it and it was an eerie feeling to watch a plane crash. Unfortunately, I wish I never had to."

The area is about 10 minutes away from where a plane hit a home in 2013, killing two children and the two people on board.

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