MARTHA’S VINEYARD, Mass. (WTNH) — A pilot from Connecticut who died after a passenger was forced to land a private plane in Martha’s Vineyard had blacked out while approaching a runaway, according to a preliminary crash report released on Wednesday.
The passenger, who is also from Connecticut, received minor injuries. The 79-year-old pilot, Randolph Bonnist, died five days after the June 15 crash.
Bonnist had a private pilot certification, and his most recent Federal Aviation Administration third-class, special issuance medical certificate had been issued on June 1. The certificates are issued if a pilot doesn’t meet the established medical standards required to fly, but can show that they can safely do so by providing medical documents.
Bonnist was flying a Piper PA-46-500TP airplane at about 3:15 p.m. when he blacked out while approaching the runway in Vineyard Haven. His 68-year-old passenger then took over the controls and maneuvered the plane into a gear-up landing, according to the report.
The airplane bounced several times, and then stopped upright with the left wing fractured, according to the report. The plane didn’t have any mechanical issues.