New Haven

American Flight Academy leaves East Haven

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) -- In all of 2015, there were 20 student-pilot fatalities. Just since October, Connecticut has seen two student deaths and those are both tied to the same flight academy. News 8 has learned that one branch of that company has vacated it's East Haven location.

The American Flight Academy operated two locations, one out of Hartford Brainard Airport, the other was housed in Robinson Aviation of East Haven at Tweed New Haven Airport. Robinson is a fixed-base operator at Tweed. They confirmed that the American Flight Academy left at the end of March when their month-to-month lease expired.

In October, a student-pilot died in a fiery East Hartford crash of a plane owned by the American Flight Academy.

Then in February, a second American Flight Academy crash resulted in another student-pilot death when the plane went down south of the runway at Tweed in New Haven.

Just last Thursday, News 8 has confirmed another American Flight Academy incident at Tweed, involving a Piper PA28. The pilot declared an emergency over engine problems and according to a statement by the Federal Aviation Administration "the aircraft returned to the airport and landed safely. No injuries were reported."

There was yet a fourth incident involving the same company, that happened a couple days before Christmas. The NTSB investigated after a student-pilot made a hard-landing on the runway at Brainard, collapsing the nose gear.

Multiple phone messages were left requesting comment at the Brainard location of the American Flight Academy. No one has yet responded to News 8 regarding this matter.


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