STEVENSVILLE, Md. (WJZ) — Investigators remain on the scene of a deadly small plane crash, just feet away from the runway of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Airport.
Ava-joye Burnett has more on the investigation into what went wrong.
NTSB investigators are on-scene. They say the plane was trying to land in a small field near the Ellendale Manor community in Stevensville when it crashed, killing both people on board.
Several witnesses say they tried saving the people from the burning plane. Emergency calls shed light on the frantic moments.
In the middle of a Queen Anne’s County field–totaled–Sky Eye Chopper 13 captured what’s left of a small, two-seater plane after it crashed near the Bay Bridge Airport.
The first emergency call came in just after 12:30 p.m. Tuesday. Within minutes, first responders knew it was a dire situation. The plane caught fire.
“This was not on fire in the fire. It exploded into flames once it made contact with the ground,” said Corporal Davaughn Parker, Maryland State Trooper.
Dennis Proffitt saw the smoke.
“The whole back of it, the whole center was completely engulfed,” he said.
Still shaken up, Proffitt says he ran through the field and tried saving the two people on board–but it was too late.
“I grabbed my fire extinguisher and ran out and tried to put the flames out, but they were already dead when I got there,” he said.
State police say the plane was a Van’s RV-12 single engine aircraft.
“We send our sincerest thought and prayers to the friends and family of those involved in this tragedy,” a Chesapeake Sport Pilot spokesperson said. “Chesapeake Sport Pilot is a close knit community of individuals who share a passion for aviation, and I know we will all grieve this loss for some time. We offer our help and support to all those affected.”
The plane was with the Chesapeake Sport Pilot school, where Fred Lango is an instructor. He says the man who died in the crash also worked there.
Police later identified the victims as Richard Hess, 63, and Janet Metz, 56, both of Ellicott City.
Hess was identified as the pilot of the plane.
“I know it wasn’t a revenue flight, it wasn’t a training flight,” said Lango.
Like investigators, Lango is left trying to put together the pieces.
“You have to wonder why. That’s the first thing that runs through my mind is why something like that happened,” he said.
The NTSB will be out on the scene the next few days, trying to figure out the exact cause of the crash.
NTSB says it will have a preliminary report in three to ten days. A full report and cause of the crash may take a year.