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Probe Into Westminster Plane Crash May Take Months

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Gigi Barnett anchors the Weekend Morning Edition with Meteorologist...
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WESTMINSTER, Md. (WJZ) — Federal investigators are on the scene of an airplane crash that killed an experienced pilot this weekend.

As Gigi Barnett explains, the probe could take months.

Federal investigators say every factor surrounding this single-engine plane accident that killed an experienced pilot Friday morning is under scrutiny.

Henry Thomas Judkins, 64, of Rockville tried to make an emergency landing at the Carroll County Regional Airport in Westminster but ended up ejecting from the plane, mere feet from the runway. Minutes before, Judkins had radioed in.

“The pilot was experiencing some mechanical troubles before the crash,” said Elena Russo, Maryland State Police.

Medics rushed Judkins to Shock Trauma, but he died on the way.

“He was unconscious and unresponsive; he was a priority one,” said paramedic Gil Roper. “Very rarely do we get called out for plane crashes in this area.”

Now a team from the National Safety Transportation Board is on the ground, combing the scene for the second day.

Judkins’ family says he was a skilled pilot and was flying a sport plane. According to documents from the Federal Aviation Administration, Judkins was a commercial pilot, an aircraft mechanic and a flight instructor.

The NTSB says it could take between 12 and 18 months to determine an official cause of the accident.

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