Cessna Crashes Into Trees at Eagles Nest Airport, Second Incident in One-Month Span

Airport Owner Stunned by ‘Freaky Set of Occurrences’
Jun 13, 2017
Photo by: Ryan Morrill

A small plane, a single-engine Cessna 206 Stationair belonging to Skydive East Coast, crashed at Eagles Nest Airport in West Creek Monday around 11 p.m., the second crash in one month’s time. On Tuesday, May 16, a Stinson 108 went down between two residential properties in the airport’s immediate vicinity.

This time, again, the pilot was “unhurt completely” and “pretty amazed” to have “walked away without a scratch,” according to the plane’s owner, George Voishnis. No passengers were on board, and nothing on the ground was damaged except some trees.

“So he did a really good job of landing it the way he did,” Voishnis said.

Airport owner Peter Weidhorn described the coincidence of crashes as “a freaky set of occurrences.” Weidhorn got the call at 11:15 Monday night from Eagleswood Township Mayor Michael Pasternak and was flabbergasted.

Voishnis is co-owner of the Skydive East Coast tandem jump operation. The plane “will be a complete loss,” he said. He explained one of his pilots had been flying the plane after some routine maintenance that required several break-in hours. As the pilot was attempting to land, he didn’t have his approach quite right – Weidhorn speculated he may have been misaligned or at the wrong altitude – so he went back up and “did a go-around” to try again. For reasons yet unknown, the engine stopped, and he glided into the trees between the airport property and the adjacent sand mining operation. There was no fire, Weidhorn added, although “it’s not excusable.” Weidhorn said the plane is totaled, its propeller driven half in the ground.

Tuesday the State Police and Federal Aviation Administration were on the scene investigating; Weidhorn said he and representatives from the National Transportation Safety Board would be there on Wednesday.

A public hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, June 28, at the municipal building to provide comments to the N.J. Planning Commission on a zoning change for a transportation node at the airport.  —V.F.

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