HILLSBOROUGH — A small single-engine plane being used for a flight lesson hit a tree on landing and flipped over onto its roof at Central Jersey Airport Tuesday afternoon, in the second crash at the airport within the past week, according to police.

The left wing of the Cessna 172 struck a tree as it came in for a landing around 4:15 at the airport off Millstone River Road, according to Hillsborough police. Student pilot James Finley, 70, of Hopatcong refused medical treatment after the crash while instructor Lorraine Derby, 73, was treated and released from RWJ Somerset Hospital.

New Jersey 101.5 chief meteorologist Dan Zarrow said the wind was light at the time of the crash at 7 MPH.

The plane is registered to "National Headquarters" based at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama, according to a check of the plane's number in the FAA database. "Civil Air Patrol" was written on the plane's rudder.

Civil Air Patrol is an auxiliary unit of the U.S. Air Force made up of volunteers who help with searches for lost individuals and other emergency service missions.

The website FlightAware.com shows the plane took off at 3:56 p.m. and completed a short oval shaped flight. Eariler in the day the plane made a round trip flight to Wildwood.

A Cessna 172 veered off the runway after landing on November 18 with no injuries to the pilot and passenger on board.

Both crashes are under investigation by the FAA.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ


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