Two Dead in Plane Crash

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Three men from New York were on the single-engine plane when it crashed Wednesday around 10:30 p.m. at a small airport near Hamilin.

Only one of those men survived.

It is the second deadly plane crash in a week in Wayne County.

The plane actually crashed into a wooded area about a half mile from the runway at Spring Hill Airport near Hamlin.

A few federal investigators arrived at the crash site Thursday morning trying to figure out exactly what went wrong.

Newswatch 16 went up in a helicopter with Hi-tech Helicopters Flight School to get a first look at the charred wreckage in the woods in Wayne County.

The plane came just short of hitting a home.

Thursday morning members of the Federal Aviation Administration, or FAA, gathered evidence.

What remains of the plane is buried in the woods about a half mile from the Spring Hill Airport in Sterling Township.

The plane now sits upside down, wings detached, and it appears it caught fire through the center of the aircraft.

"At this point until NTSB  gets here and does the investigation, we have no idea," said Steve Price of Wayne County EMA.

The Wayne County coroner said the two men killed are a 19 year old and a 34 year old from Long Island. The survivor is a 21-year-old man, also from Long Island.

The coroner added the three men were aviation students at a school there.

One pilot who flies in and out of the Spring Hill Airport frequently said the runway can be a little difficult to maneuver if you are not experienced.

"It can be tricky if you're taking off from the direction they took off from because there are high trees from the end they were departing from," said Bob Moulton of Sterling. "It might have been a combination of how it was night time. It was poor weather conditions when they took off."

"It was pretty frightening to hear," said Bill Neville of Salem Township.

"It was so sad to hear about someone losing their life," said former airport employee Sandy Leonard.

People who grew up in this area said although this airport isn't that active today, back in its heyday, in the 70s, it was quite busy.  Planes almost came in and out of there daily because there was a restaurant there that a lot of pilots used to stop at.  

"They could have picnics. Kids could play on the playground and swim. It was very busy," Leonard said.

"They've had other planes that have some off the runway. Nothing major, skidded off, broke a wheel, but nothing like this," said John Yedinak of Salem Township.

This is the second fatal plane crash in a week here in Wayne County.

The first happened at the Cherry Ridge Airport in Cherry Ridge Township over the weekend, also killing the pilot.

"This is the second plane crash in a month, yes that is very unusual, and it usually doesn't happen that way," Price added.

The National Transportation Safety Board will continue the investigation into the crash.