Reporting Alex DeMetrick
MARYLAND CITY, Md. (WJZ) — A small plane crashes in the middle of a residential neighborhood in Anne Arundel County, and it happened in an instant. Now begins the long work of figuring out why it crashed.
Alex DeMetrick has the latest on the investigation into the accident in Maryland City.
Brushes with disaster don’t come much closer than this–a small plane, slamming into a densely populated neighborhood near Laurel Thursday afternoon.
“We see the plane inside of our neighbor’s house. We know she just had a newborn. She has two little girls. That’s our first thing thinking that, ‘Oh my gosh, she’s hurt,’” said Chessie Brisben.
No one on the ground was hurt–only the pilot–70-year-old Ronald Dickson from Bowie, who was rushed to Shock Trauma.
“I further comforted him. I told him my name and that he was going to be alright and 911 was on the way,” said Joe Arrington, who helped the pilot.
Now the focus is on the investigation. The NTSB has talked to the pilot, who took off from nearby Suburban Airport without incident.
“The pilot tells us that around 250 feet he suffered a loss of power. In other words, the engine stopped producing power or had rolled back to idle,” said Todd Gunther, NTSB.
“The engine was sputtering, and when it came up here it looked to me like he caught this tree, broke his right wing and then turned the whole plane and put it into that house over there,” a witness said.
The NTSB is concentrating on the plane’s engine. Preliminarily, the fuel and exhaust systems appear to have been performing normally, although far more detailed work will be done indoors, in a controlled environment.
“We’ll actually lay the aircraft out and we’ll look at the control system, once again, the structures in the engine to make a determination as to what the probable cause is,” Gunther said.
In the past 20 years, there have been seven plane accidents connected to Suburban Airport. None of them were fatal.