NEW MILFORD — At the end of the gravel driveway to Candlelight Farms Airport, Nic Marsicano anxiously awaited word on the fate of his best friend, Anthony “Duke” Morasco.
Marsicano had heard a small plane crashed Friday morning, and Duke likely was in it.
“How’s Duke doing?” he asked each passing emergency responder. “How’s Duke doing?”
“Nobody’s doing that well up there,” one man answered. The rest just drove past.
Marsicano soon learned Morasco — a flight instructor and his best friend of more than 30 years — had died in a crash that seriously injured two others.
The Federal Aviation Administration said the plane, a Cessna 172, departed Danbury Municipal Airport around 8:30 a.m. and crashed about an hour later in a grassy area a quarter-mile from the New Milford runway.
New Milford Police Sgt. Lee Grabner said the flight appeared to be a training flight. He said one of the victims, though badly disoriented, was able to walk several hundred yards to a nearby home to report the crash, and was eventually taken by ambulance to Danbury Hospital.
Police found two people still trapped inside the plane. The pilot, a woman who has yet to be identified, was extricated and airlifted to Hartford Hospital with life-threatening injuries. The other person was the flight instructor, Grabner said.
Police have yet to release any of the victims’ identities, saying family members are still being notified. But friends of Morasco said he was the man who died.
Marsicano, who had known Morasco since the two were students at Western Connecticut State University, said he was an experienced pilot who had flown for nearly four decades and had occasionally given flight lessons.
Marsicano, who had flown with Morasco many times, said his friend was a kind man and a “phenomenal pilot” whose “aspiration was to fly for a living.”
“He was one of those guys who would do anything for you,” Marsicano said. “I will miss him greatly every day.”
When Morasco wasn’t flying, he was a well-liked, hard-working maintenance worker for New Milford, said former Mayor Patricia Murphy.
“He was one of those people who could fix anything,” she said. “Just a very bright guy.”
Morasco worked for the town for two stints totaling about 15 years, Murphy added. He later worked for a rehabiliation center in town.
The plane’s registration number, obtained through photos of the crash scene, shows the plane is owned by Arrow Aviation, a Danbury flight-training school that owned a plane involved in a fatal crash nearly two weeks ago.
Mark Stern, of Redding, died from injuries he sustained after crashing a rented Cessna near Danbury Municipal Airport on July 30. Two passengers were injured in the crash, which is still under investigation by federal authorities.
Preliminary results of that investigation showed Stern’s plane began to lose altitude shortly after takeoff and crashed in a wooded area near the runway. The accident happened just two weeks after the plane had received its annual inspection.
A woman who answered the phone at Arrow Aviation on Friday declined to comment on either crash.
“We’re not able to talk about it,” she said.
The Cessna 172 is a single-engine four-seater and is one of the most popular aircraft in general aviation for flight instruction.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal said Friday he is concerned by the crashes.
“My thoughts and prayers are with the victim’s family and those injured in this tragic crash,” Blumenthal said in a news release.
“I am alarmed by the number of small plane crashes that have claimed lives in recent months and years in Connecticut.”
(0) Readers Comments
March 12, 2012
November 14, 2012
October 10, 2011
October 12, 2011
October 21, 2011
This is happening more frequently and there should be an investigation
I now of the problems and figuring out what the problem is, the hostin
I don't know if it's just me or if perhaps everybody else encountering
Paul Blankenship · Top Commenter · School of Hard Knocks Mr. Shelton