Pilot walks away from crash landing

March 17, 1995|By Bill Talbott | Bill Talbott,Sun Staff Writer

The pilot of a home-built airplane walked away from a crash landing yesterday in a field near Marston.

William "Bill" Cumberland 3rd, 37, of Woodbine said he was flying the experimental Pitts aircraft, which is a bi-wing, single-engine craft, about five miles south of Carroll County Regional Airport about 5:30 p.m. The engine began to run badly and he started looking for a place to land, he said. "I tightened my safety harness when the engine continued to run rough and it began to lose power," said Mr. Cumberland, who said he has built two aircraft with his father and brothers.

The front of the plane was destroyed by the landing. The main landing gear and the tail wheel were also destroyed, and the rear of the fuselage and wings were damaged but not destroyed.

There was no danger of fire because the plane has no electrical system.

Mr. Cumberland walked to a nearby house after landing.

He called his wife to reassure her that he was not injured after learning that emergency fire and rescue equipment had already been notified. He suffered only a few minor abrasions.

Emergency crews from New Windsor, Winfield and Union Bridge were dispatched to the crash, but most units were canceled when the first unit at the scene reported the pilot was walking around.

The plane hit near a stone road and stopped about 50 feet from where it hit.

The second aircraft built by the family is a Skybolt.

Both are stored at Carroll County Regional Airport.

The Pitts is an experimental aircraft built and used for air shows. It was described as a "good strong airplane, built for stress," by the pilot's father, William Cumberland Jr., who came to the scene to check on his son.

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