A small plane was forced to make an emergency landing on a runway at the former Grumman site in Calverton yesterday afternoon.
Engine trouble forced the plane down, pilot Daniel P. Charnews, 71, of Centerport told police. Upon landing, he was caught in a crosswind on the runway, lost control of the aircraft and veered off the runway, according to a police report. The plane, a 1947 Universal Stinson 108, came to a stop on its wing in the grass field along the runway, police said.
The pilot was not injured in the incident.
Riverhead Town Police responded to a 3:53 p.m. call from Luminati Aerospace, about an unauthorized aircraft on the runway that may have crashed. Luminati bought the former Skydive Long Island site at Calverton Enterprise Park last year and has exclusive use of the runway under an agreement with the town.
Riverhead Police detectives and the Federal Aviation Administration responded to investigate, police said.
The classic plane was a popular general aviation aircraft built by Stinson in Wayne, Michigan between the end of World War II in 1946 and 1950. Stinson was purchased in 1949 by Piper Aircraft, which ceased production of the 108s the following year. Of the 4,935 108s built by Stinson, 1,893 are still in service, according to FAA records.
The fixed-wing craft, which seats four, has a reciprocating (piston) engine. According to FAA records, the engine in Charnews’ plane was built by Franklin Engine Company, which was sold to the government of Poland in 1975 and ceased production in the United States.
Charnews’ FAA registration certificate was issued in July 2015.
The survival of local journalism depends on your support.
We are a small family-owned operation. You rely on us to stay informed, and we depend on you to make our work possible. Just a few dollars can help us continue to bring this important service to our community.
Support RiverheadLOCAL today.