HILLSBOROUGH, NJ - A 70-year-old student pilot and his 73-year-old instructor were injured after their plane struck a tree and crashed on to the runway at Central Jersey Regional Airport late Tuesday afternoon.
It was the second crash of a single-engine plane at the airport in seven days, and the third since July.
The airport, formerly known as Kupper Airport, is located at 1034 Millstone River Road.
Police did not identify who was at the controls of the plane when the crash occurred around 4:15 p.m.
The injured were identified as James E. Finlay, the student pilot, a resident of Hopatcong, and the instructor, Lorraine Danby of Berkeley Heights, according to Hillsborough Police.
The police incident report states "the student pilot and the pilot instructor were attempting to land the plane onto the runway when the left wing struck a tree and the plane crashed onto the runway and flipped over on to its roof."
Finlay refused medical treatment at the scene, and Danby went to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in Somerville, was treated and released, according to police..
The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the crash.
Responding to the crash was the Hillsborough Police Department; Hillsborough Fire Dept. Units 37 and 38, Hillsborough Office of Emergency Management, Robert Wood Johnson First Aid, Somerset County Hazmat and the Manville Police Department.
The second crash occurred late Wednesday morning Nov. 18.
High winds are believed to have caused the single-engine plane with a student pilot at the controls to flip over after touching down on the runway at Central Jersey Regional Airport late Wednesday morning
"The way that wind was gusting today, it was brutal," said Joe Horner, airport owner.
"The wind drifted him a little bit as he was about to touch down;" Horner said hours after the crash. "With those winds, it was like trying to fly a kite; all the weight is up front in the motor.," he added.
One of the wheels on the fixed landing gear caught the lip of the runway, Horner said, causing it to flip.
The FAA is also investigating that crash
The student pilot, Philip McPherson, 32, of Bound Brook, and instructor Sundaresh Suddiah, 52, of Edison, were uninjured in the 11:45 a.m. crash, according to Hillsborough Police.
The plane, owned and operated by TriState Aviation flight school, located at the airport, was damaged, according to Horner.
The third mishap occurred July 14.
The pilot, Joe Gubernat, 64 of Lebanon Township was attempting to take off in his lightweight experimental plane identified as a Furlong LOU CA-6 when it crashed and flipped over on its back around 5 p.m. in Sacred Heart Cemetery along the property line adjacent to the airport, according to Hillsborough Police
Gubernat was able to unstrap his seat harness and slithered out of the plane. He was transported to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick with minor injuries.
"Just a bump on the head, that's about it," Horner said. There were no passengers in the plane. "To walk away from a crash like that, you're very lucky," he added.
The plane clipped a chain link fence along the property line with its fixed landing gear and nosed into the ground, flipping the plane over. A huge gouge was left in the ground where the propellor hit, forcing the plane to tip over, according to bystanders.
The crash occurred in a remote section of the cemetery towards the rear of the property, hundreds of yards distant from any grave sites.