Pilot in emergency landing spent 5 years building plane - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Pilot in emergency landing spent 5 years building plane

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A pilot made an emergency landing at the fairgrounds in Guilford on Monday afternoon (WFSB) A pilot made an emergency landing at the fairgrounds in Guilford on Monday afternoon (WFSB)

A day after a crash landing at the Guilford fairgrounds, a plane is in pieces inside the pilot’s garage.

His wife is relieved her husband Roderick Bradley was able to walk away from the crash, now recovering at home with only a sprained neck.

“He fortunately had his hard helmet on. That saved him a lot I think because otherwise, he may have had a concussion I think,” said Pat Bradley.

Roderick Bradley, who was a commercial pilot for 30 years, took off from Tweed-New Haven Airport on Monday, before he had to make a hard landing around 4 p.m.

The Murphy Renegade plane is home-made and took him five years to build.

“He doesn’t know himself. Just the engine quit. It was flying fine from New Haven until he got to Guilford,” Pat Bradley said.

After making numerous phone calls and emails to officials from the Federal Aviation Administration, Eyewitness News obtained a report that shows the same aircraft had been cited as losing engine power in a previous incident, which appears could have also been the problem in the sky on Monday.

In 2004 that same plane ended up crashing into trees, according to an FAA document.

It states the plane’s engine lost power shortly after takeoff, but the cause of the power failure couldn’t be determined.

Bradley’s wife says the plane just passed a bi-annual review earlier this year.

“He can’t understand it because he’s very, very particular of checking before he goes flying he does all the checklist. He’s a lot more particular than a lot of people flying around,” she said.

Eyewitness News wanted to see a what a pre-flight check list looks like. 

Joseph Boruch, who has been flying for 11 years, says every inch of the plane gets inspected by a pilot. 

There are more than 30 things on this list, including checking the lights, engine and fuel tank.

“As a private pilot, you need to have a bi-annual flight review, and typically if you’re renting a plane you’re sharing a club of some type there’s even more stringent requirements,” Boruch said.

In 2017 alone, there have been four deadly plane crashes in Connecticut.

And just since last Friday, there have been three crashes with injuries.

However, Boruch says it won’t keep him from flying up in the sky.

“It’s all about lessons learned and continuous improvement. Something else to keep in mind as you move forward in your progression as a pilot in your learning,” he said.

The FAA will be heading over to take a closer look at the plane to determine what may have gone wrong in Monday’s crash.

A spokesperson says FAA investigators treat each crash as its own unique case.

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