George DeMar,83, of Westhampton Beach, the pilot of the bi-plane that crashed early Sunday afternoon at Klenawicus Airstrip, and his passenger, Susan Klenawicus, 52, of Shelter Island were both treated at Eastern Long Island Hospital in Greenport and released yesterday, according to hospital spokesperson Eileen Solomon.
Jim Pugh, head of the Shelter Island Pilot’s Association, said weather conditions, plus an overloaded plane, caused the crash.
Mr. Pugh noted that it was the hottest part of a hot and humid day with very little wind and “too much weight in the aircraft. It was fairly predictable.”
Mr. Pugh, who didn’t witness the crash, but arrived at the scene later, said when he learned there were two people in the bi-plane, a pilot and a passenger, he immediately thought: “What the hell were they thinking.”
He emphasized that the accident had nothing to do with the airstrip.
“The flight was in contradistinction from our recommendations,” Mr. Pugh said. The recommendations for use of the airstrip are stated on the Klenawicus Airstrip’s Facebook page.
With a two-seater airplane, the recommendations are that only the pilot, and no passengers be on board.
The original post is below:
For the third time in six months, a plane crashed at Klenawicus Airstrip.
And like the two preceding crashes, a pilot in his 80s was at the controls.
According to the Shelter Island Police Department, at 1:42 p.m. Sunday police and members of the Shelter Island Fire Department and Emergency Medical Services personnel were dispatched to the grass airstrip off Burns and Cartwright Roads.
A single engine engine bi-plane piloted by George deMar, 83, of Westhampton Beach, with one passenger, Susan Klenawicus, 55, of Shelter Island, was found nose down in the grass. The 1929 Brewster Fleet2 had damage to its propeller, nose section, wings and landing gear, police said.
Both Mr. de Mar and Ms. Klenawicus were treated at the scene and transported to Eastern Long Island Hospital for further treatment for injuries, which police said appeared to be minor.
According to police, the pilot reported engine complications, which resulted in the crash. The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.
In March Islander Michael Russo, 80 crashed his plane on takeoff at Kleanwicus. Last month Robert Fritts, 88, of Manorville crashed shortly after landing at the airstrip.
The Reporter will post updates on Sunday’s crash when more information becomes available.