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Investigation Continues Into Fatal Small Plane Crash

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Rochelle Ritchie 370 x 278 Rochelle Ritchie
Rochelle Ritchie joined WJZ Eyewitness News in June 2012. Prio...
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MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — A plane lesson went terribly wrong when a plane crashed, killing one person and sending the other to the hospital.

Rochelle Ritchie has more on what caused the plane to go down.

The crash happened at Davis Airport and is under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration.

The assistant chief with Montgomery County Fire and Rescue says two men were on board a single-engine Beechcraft Musketeer when it went down Monday night.

“There were two adult males. One was pronounced dead at the scene, the other a priority one and flown to Shock Trauma in Baltimore,” said Assistant Chief Scott Graham.

A flight instructor and an experienced pilot were doing repeat landings and take-offs to test out the new aircraft when witnesses say something went terribly wrong.

“It achieved an altitude of about 150 to 200 feet, at which point the engine lost power,” said airport mechanic David Stiles.

He says the plane banked to the right and lost lift, ultimately rolled and disappeared behind the trees.

“Didn’t hear any noise or anything but I knew at that point the plane had crashed,” said Stiles.

The plane crashed just at the end of the Davis Airport runway. The flight instructor died and the pilot was taken to the hospital.

“Fire rescue personnel took extrication tools back and had to remove the top of the aircraft to gain access to the patients,” said Graham.

This plane crash happened just before 7:30 p.m. Monday. While it’s unfortunate, it could have been worse.

“This is a blessing that it’s not a hundred yards further away because it would have hit one of the homes,” Graham said.

The aircraft was removed from a wooded area Tuesday afternoon. Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board say they’ll look at all possible contributing factors in the crash.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the pilot was listed in serious condition with non-life threatening injuries.

The plane had just been inspected and everything checked out fine.

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