Moth in a Tree

  • E-Mail this Article
  • View Printable Article
  • Text size:

    • A
    • A
    • A

Click to watch video

When deHavilland built the Tiger Moth, it was designed to have the gentle flight characteristics that would launch a legion of crack pilots against the Third Reich. It did that job with minimal damage to airframes and teenaged pilots and it helped Augie Gorreck and his passenger Susie Williams walk (make that rappel) away from mishap that might have had a terrible result. The 65-year-old biplane lost power in its unique inverted Gypsy Major engine shortly after takeoff from Skylark Airpark near East Windsor, Conn. on Sunday and Gorreck, lacking altitude to do anything else, settled it into a copse of trees at the end of the runway. "We got away with it," Gorreck told reporters as he and Williams rode on the back of an all-terrain vehicle from the crash site. Both were unharmed but spent three hours 50 feet above the ground waiting for rescue.

The boggy ground made ground rescue difficult and officials were afraid a Coast Guard Blackhawk helicopter might knock the fabric covered antique from its perch but specially trained fire department rescue personnel were able to lower the them to safety. The fate of the airplane, which appears to have minimal damage, wasn't known late Monday.