Plane makes forced landing in field near Andover pool No injuries in mishap

engine failure blamed

July 10, 1996|By TaNoah Morgan | TaNoah Morgan,SUN STAFF

A private plane made an emergency landing on an open field just yards away from the Andover Recreation Center where dozens of children and adults were swimming and playing tennis yesterday afternoon, officials said.

The pilot, Richard Francis Truett, and his passenger, Theodore John Sanne, both of Gibson Island, were not injured.

Officials at Baltimore-Washington International Airport said Truett and Sanne took off from a general aviation runway in a Cessna 152, a two-seat plane normally used as a trainer, around 11: 30 a.m. for a trip to Hagerstown.

Four minutes later, Truett landed the plane in the field just north of the airport and adjacent to a maintenance facility for the airport's buses because of an apparent engine failure, officials said.

Truett, 30, has more than 100 hours flying time, officials said.

At least three mechanics were working at the secluded garage at the end of Lyman Avenue. They said they did not know of the landing until fire trucks drove up with their emergency lights flashing.

"We didn't hear anything," said Roosevelt Davis, a mechanic, as he tested doors on a commuter bus. "We didn't even know anything had happened until we saw all the fire trucks coming up here."

Nicole Weisburger, assistant manager at the recreation center, said she and the staff are accustomed to the rumble of aircraft engines overhead.

"I guess we don't really pay attention to the airplanes," she said. "Sometimes we joke around about a plane crashing in the pool, but we never really worried about it."

The aircraft, grounded on a hill with its nose against a fence in the open field, sustained little damage.

"That's just an indication that he did a very good job of bringing the plane down safely," said Jay Hierholzer, a spokesman for BWI.

Airport officials shut down the commuter runway the plane took off from for less than 30 minutes yesterday to check for debris that may have been left by the aircraft or that may have caused its quick landing.

Planes were rerouted to other runways and no delays resulted, Hierholzer said.

Pub Date: 7/10/96

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