Antique Plane Makes Soft Landing in Connecticut Tree Top, No Injuries

A 1930s biplane glided to a crash landing in the tops of a stand of trees on Sunday, stranding the pilot and his passenger amid the branches for several hours.

No one was injured, said Michael Koczera, manager of the Skylark Airpark.

The single-engine de Havilland Tiger Moth apparently lost power about 200 feet from the runway after taking off from the airport, said Jim Peters of the Federal Aviation Administration.

Koczera said the plane came to rest in the trees above 50 feet above the ground.

"When he ran out of airspace, he landed on top of a tree," Koczera said. "We're not talking about a big airplane. It's a fabric (covered) plane, probably weighs about 1,000 pounds."

A tree surgeon joined the crew of a Coast Guard helicopter and members of the local fire department in rescuing the stranded aviators, Koczera said.

"The tree person was able to climb the tree and set up some kind of a pulley arrangement where they could remove the people by rope and tackle," Koczera said.

The plane was expected to remain in the trees until a crane can be brought in on Tuesday, he said.

The names of the pilot and passenger were not released. Koczera said both are members of a club, Tiger Moth Drivers LLC, that flies the biplane out of Springfield, Mass.