1 killed, 1 critically injured in Edgewater plane crash

April 18, 1993|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,Staff Writer

A small single-engine plane crashed in an Edgewater cornfield and burst into flames yesterday afternoon, killing the pilot and critically injuring his passenger.

Authorities identified the pilot as Brian Keith Duffy, 23, of Ellicott City. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The passenger, Frederickus Johnannas Giltay, 22, of Ellicott City was in critical condition at the MedSTAR burn unit at Washington Hospital Center last night, suffering first-, second-, and third-degree burns over 80 percent of his body.

Capt. Gary Sheckells, a spokesman for the Anne Arundel County Fire Department, said the crash occurred about 3:15 p.m. after the pilot of the two-seater Cessna, bound for Ocean City from Hagerstown, tried to make an emergency landing at Lee Airport, south of Annapolis.

Mr. Duffy had radioed the tower at Baltimore-Washington International Airport, saying he had lost partial power in the plane's engine. A tower official told him to land at Lee Airport.

A flight instructor at Lee Airport, who was in radio contact with the plane before the crash, said Mr. Duffy tried to make an emergency landing and came within five feet of touching down on the runway before a heavy tail wind prevented the landing.

Greg Lougue, 30, said he was out side with his hand-held radio and watched the plane as Mr. Duffy said he had lost partial power in the engine. Mr. Duffy swooped in over the runway but could not bring the plane down.

"I was just listening to him," said Mr. Lougue, who lives in Severna Park. "He even said he was going to try and land downwind."

Mr. Lougue said that after Mr. Duffy missed the runway, he tried to turn the plane around -- possibly to line up with the runway again -- but clipped a power line and crashed upside down in the field, about 50 yards from Solomons Island Road, a half-mile north of the runway.

Twelve fire engines responded, and firefighters found the plane engulfed in flames, Captain Sheckells said. While firefighters doused the flames, other rescue workers pulled the two men from the cockpit.

Three Anne Arundel County police officers were slightly injured -- one suffering a minor burn on his hand -- during the rescue.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board were on the scene last night trying to determine the cause of the crash.

Authorities initially used the plane's serial numbers and flight plan to identify the victims.

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