Monday, February 6, 2017

Piper PA-32R-301 Saratoga SP, N21HD: Accident occurred February 06, 2017 near Potomac Airfield (KVKX), Friendly, Prince George's County, Maryland

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report  -  National Transportation Safety Board:

FAA Flight Standards District Office: Washington, DC

NTSB Identification: ERA17LA100
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, February 06, 2017 in Friendly, MD
Aircraft: PIPER PA32R, registration: N21HD
Injuries: 1 Serious.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On February 6, 2017, about 1145 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-32R-301, N21HD, was substantially damaged during a forced landing during the initial climb after takeoff t from Potomac Airfield (VKX), Friendly, Maryland. The private pilot was seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules flight plan had been filed. The personal flight, destined for Newport State Airport (UUU), Newport, Rhode Island, was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

After completing a preflight inspection of the airplane, the pilot and taxied to the self-serve fuel pumps, and topped-off the fuel tanks. A few minutes later, he sumped the fuel tanks and reported the fuel was blue and free of contaminates. Shortly after takeoff, about 1,000 feet above ground level, the pilot reported the engine suddenly lost power and "went quiet." He attempted to restart the engine to no avail and subsequently performed a forced landing.

A Federal Aviation Administration inspector examined the airplane at the accident site. According to the inspector, the engine was partially separated from the airplane. The right wing was partially separated and the left wing was substantially damaged.

The wreckage was retained for further examination.

A small plane crashed in Prince George's County, Maryland, on Monday and the man piloting it used his cellphone to help rescuers find him. 

Gerald Kempen, 64, had just taken off from Potomac Airfield in Fort Washington, Maryland. The weather was perfect for flying, with good visibility.

But shortly after takeoff, something went wrong.

A witness said he heard the engine apparently cut out.

Kempen's plane, a Piper PA-32R-301 Saratoga SP, crashed into a wooded area near the 11700 block of Gallahan Road. The plane lopped off the tops of small trees and then crashed into a large tree.

Kempen used his cellphone to call his wife, she told News4 by phone. He sounded dazed and unsure of what had happened, she said.

He called 911, and rescuers stayed on the phone with him until they found him -- walking through the woods.

"He was trying to give us the best location he could," Prince George's County fire department battalion chief Steve Kling said. "The problem was, he was flying I think probably by instruments. He couldn't really give us much on landmarks. He gave us, I believe it was a house in the distance and a barn and some power lines."

Kempen was flown to a hospital for evaluation. His wife said he was disoriented and having memory issues, but was OK. 

The pilot's wife had planned to travel with him from their home in Rhode Island to Maryland and back, to visit their children and grandchildren, but she decided to stay home with a sick grandchild there. 

Kempen had his plane for five years and flew since he was a teenager, his wife said. 

Prince George's County Fire & EMS spokesman Mark Brady said the small plane did not pose a fire or hazardous materials risk. 

State and federal authorities are investigating.

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FT. WASHINGTON, MD (WUSA9) - A small plane crashed near the Potomac Airfield in Ft. Washington Monday morning, Prince George's County Fire and EMS said.

"You could hear it just shut off and then it turned kind of funny actually," one neighbor told WUSA9.

According to the 911 operator, the plane crashed in the area of Old Fort Road and Indian Head Highway.

Crews located the pilot, who was walking.

"He contacted 911 and gave us the information we needed like some landmarks that would help us identify where he was," Prince George's County Fire Battalion Chief Steve Kling said.

He was taken to the hospital as a precaution, according to officials. 

"He was calm, very alert and matter of fact. He told us what happened and that he just wanted to get out of here," Kling said.

The pilot has a head and chest injury, but is expected to recover. The 64-year-old is from Rhode Island and is vacationing in the area.

His wife said he’s been flying planes since he was a teenager and that saved his life because he knew exactly what to do once the plane lost power.

Story and video:

FORT WASHINGTON, Md. (ABC7) —   A plane had a hard landing and the pilot was taken to an area hospital as a precaution Monday afternoon in Fort Washington, Maryland, according to Prince George's County Fire officials.

SKYTRAK7 was on the scene of the plane incident.

Mark Brady with P.G. Fire reports the pilot in the plane is up and walking. The pilot, identified as 63-year-old Gerry Kempen, was wounded while walking, and located by fire officials in a wooded area and taken to a Trauma Center.

Kempen flew to the Maryland area several days ago and parked his plane at Potomac Airfield. Officials say it appeared Kempen lost power in his plane shortly after he took off.

Fire officials say the incident occurred at Indian Head Highway and Old Fort Road.

According to the Federal Aviation Association (FAA) database, the tail number of the plane is N21HD. It's described as a Piper PA-32R-301 and is a single-engine fixed wing plane. The registered owner is Gerald Kempen. 

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