Plane crash lands in Clermont, pilot is OK

CLERMONT—A pilot from Virginia, who purchased a plane in New Hampshire and was flying it home, was forced to make an emergency crash landing in a field off County Route 8, November 4 around 3 p.m.
Livingston State Police Investigator David Comesanas, who was on the crash scene, told The Columbia Paper that pilot Jay Morrissett, 50, of Virginia, had been in the air for 1½ to 2 hours in his newly acquired 1946 single prop airplane when the craft began to experience mechanical problems.
The investigator said the engine was stalling and sputtering and the pilot believed there was a problem with the fuel.
Though Mr. Morrissett had initially planned to fly to Pennsylvania to spend the night before continuing home to Virginia, the engine malfunction made him change his plans and focus on getting to an airport in Kingston.
Realizing that even nearby Kingston was not an option, Mr. Morrissett began looking for an open field to land the plane.
Inv. Comesanas said that at one point the plane’s engine completely stalled out and the pilot was able to fire it up again before it failed a second time.
Mr. Morrissett set the plane down in a field off County Route 8, belonging to Howard Kilmer. A motorist on County Route 8 watched the whole episode and called 911.
During the landing, the plane hit a steep embankment, which caused it to flip over and land on its roof, said Inv. Comesanas.
Mr. Morrissett was able to crawl out of the cockpit and walk away from the crash with only minor injuries.
The Clermont Fire Department was called in as were Northern Dutchess Paramedics, but Mr. Morrissett declined medical attention. He went to stay at a local hotel to wait for a friend of his to come and take him home.
Inv. Comesanas said he believes the plane is salvageable.
“There was nothing suspicious about the crash, it appears to be completely mechanical. The pilot did everything he could not to endanger anyone and he did a good job landing the plane,” said the investigator. No fire followed the crash.
Officials from the Federal Aviation Administration are expected on the scene to investigate.
At the crash in addition to Inv. Comesanas were: State Police Zone Sergeant Michael Comerford, Captain Scott Brown, Investigator Marcus Walthour, Senior Investigator Gary Mazzacano, Troopers Mark Castle, John Burleigh and Mike Clark.
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