FAA report: Pilot lost control during New Milford landing

NEW MILFORD — A pilot's loss of directional control during a landing at Candlelight Farms Airport in August was the probable cause of why the plane veered off the grass runway, an FAA report determined.

The accident happened at 9:30 a.m. Aug. 30 when the Cessna/170A, coming from Waterbury/Oxford Airport (16 miles away), was making a landing on the New Milford airfield.

The 39-year-old pilot, who was not named, was not injured, but the single-engine plane sustained “substantial damage,” according to the FAA report that was released Thursday.

“The pilot of the tailwheel-equipped airplane reported that he made a wheel landing on the grass runway, and during the landing roll let the tailwheel settle to the ground,” the report said. “When the tailwheel touched down, the tail moved to the right and the nose of the airplane veered to the left. The airplane exited the left side of the runway and as it came to a stop it rolled to the right and the right wing and horizontal stabilizer impacted the ground. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing, aileron, right horizontal stabilizer,elevator, and the fuselage.”

The report added, “The pilot reported no preimpact mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airframe or engine that would have precluded normal operation.”

The report’s findings determined that it was the pilot’s use of the plane’s directional controls that caused the aircraft to go off the runway.

At the time of the accident, the weather was clear with a light wind of four knots.

The plane is owned by Mountain Aviation LLC, of Woodbury.

The privately owned Candlelight Farms Airport, located near Candlewood Lake, has a 2,900-foot long and 50-foot wide turf landing area. According to airnav.com, 14 single-engine planes are based at the airport.

Eighty-six percent of its traffic comes from local general aviation and 14 percent from transient general aviation.