HILLSBOROUGH, NJ - High winds are believed to have caused a single-engine plane with a student pilot at the controls to flip over after touching down on the runway at Central Jersey 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. "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 Federal Aviation Administration will investigate the incident and determine an official narrative and cause, according to Horner; as a matter of routine, Horner shut down the airport after the crash, with no flights in or out; as of 4:30 p.m., the FAA had yet to conclude its preliminary investigation. The plane remained upside down off to the side of the runway where it came to rest, Horner said and cannot be moved until the FAA gives its OK.
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 airport is located at1034 Millstone River Road, Hillsborough, NJ
Responding units to the scene were Hillsborough Police, Hillsborough Fire Units 37 & 38, Hillsborough Fire Safety, Hillsborough Office of Emergency Management, Robert Wood Johnson Rescue Squad, Somerset County Hazmat and the Federal Adviation Administration.