Wading River man killed in Connecticut plane crash

06/12/2011 10:20 AM |

A Wading River man was killed Friday afternoon when the single-engine plane he was flying in crashed into a wooded area in Westbrook, Conn., according to Connecticut State Police.

Peter Bendzlowicz Jr., 74, was pronounced dead at the scene after rescuers pulled him and another man from the wreckage, police said. The other man, Arthur Szu, 61, of Amityville was taken to Yale New Haven Hospital where officials there said he was listed in critical condition Saturday evening.

Connecticut State Police, the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash, which police said occurred following a distress call from the 1963 Piper the men were flying in.

FAA records show the 1963 Piper is registered to Peter Bendzlowicz III, 45, of Wading River, Mr. Bendzlowicz’ son.

Police said the plane had taken off from Calabro Airport in Shirley and was headed for Chester Airport in Chester, Conn. It was not clear who was flying the plane at the time of the crash, police said.

The aircraft came to a rest upside-down about a mile and a half into a heavily wooded area, according to a report in the Hartford Courant, which also reported that state police said the impact of the crash crushed the plane into an accordion-like shape.

State police said the plane lost one of its wings as it crash-landed and that the tail was severed, according to the Courant.

gparpan@northshoresun.com