A small plane crashed into a Lindenwold backyard last month after the engine lost power and the pilot told the passenger that something was wrong with the throttle, according to preliminary findings from the National Transportation Safety Board.

The Oct. 19 crash injured no one on the ground, but left Wayne Gilchrist, 66, of Marlton, trapped upside down in the cockpit with his passenger, David Misek, 72, of Cherry Hill.

Gilchrist suffered severe cuts on his face that required stitches, police said. Misek had a broken hip. Both men have been released from Cooper University Hospital but could not be reached Monday.

The NTSB's findings, which were posted in the last week on the agency's website, said Gilchrist rented the Ercoupe 415C at Claremont Airport in Elkton, Md. He put in nine gallons of fuel and flew to the Flying W Ranch airstrip in Medford, where he picked up Misek.

They then departed for a "local area flight" with no destination, the NTSB said. While in the air, Misek told the NTSB, Gilchrist said he was having trouble with the throttle. Then the engine started shutting down.

The plane fell into a neighborhood along the 500 block of Linden Avenue just before 1 p.m., just missing a basketball hoop and a child's playhouse. Some residents heard a boom but assumed it was a car accident or noise from a nearby firehouse.

The plane was manufactured in 1946, the NTSB said. Its owner is Daniel L. McCaffery of Chesapeake City, Md. He did not immediately return a call Monday.


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