Senator pushes for stronger safety measures after several local plane crashes

Courtesy: East Haven Mayor's Office

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– Senator Richard Blumenthal is pushing for stronger safety measures for small aircraft. It comes in the wake of a number of small planes crashes here in Connecticut so far this year.

So far this year there have been eight small plane crashes here in Connecticut. Those crashes claiming the lives of six people.

2017 could become the deadliest year in more than a decade when it comes to plane crashes here in the state. Senator Blumenthal wants to curb this trend.

The first crash we saw was back in February right near Tweed-New Haven Airport. The student pilot was killed in that crash. The instructor survived but was badly injured.

Related: NTSB releases preliminary report on East Haven plane crash

Then in April there was a crash in Wallingford. A local doctor and his son were flying in and out of the Markham Airport in Meriden when they went down. The father was killed.

Related: NTSB releases preliminary report on fatal Wallingford plane crash

That same month, two men died in a plane crash in East Windsor. More recently, we saw a deadly crash in New Milford.

Related: NTSB releases report on small plane crash that killed 2

And in July, a plane went down right near a dog park in Danbury.

Related: NTSB: 1 dead, 2 injured in New Milford plane crash

“They actually had to beat their way through the brush .. It’ very heavy vegetation. A lot of prickers. Raspberries, small brush, bushes. They had to make a small trail to get the patients on the way up,” said Deputy Chief Stephen Williams, Danbury Fire Department.

Related: Pilot involved in Danbury plane crash succumbs to injuries

Senator Blumenthal is asking the FAA to investigate training, medical vetting, maintenance and safety regulations in hopes of preventing crashes like the ones we’ve seen.

Friday’s news conference about all of this is scheduled for 11 a.m. in East Hartford. A plane crashed there in October of last year. The student died, the flight instructor survived. In that case it’s believed that the student intentionally crashed the plane.

It’s important to note here that the NTSB has not released the official cause on any of the crashes we just mentioned. That can often take up to a year as the investigations are ongoing.

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