Monday, July 24, 2017

Cessna 182B Skylane, N2533G, Westerly Sky Dive: Accident occurred July 23, 2017 at Westerly State Airport (KWST), Washington County, Rhode Island

WESTERLY — A throttle that had inadvertently been left engaged caused a Cessna 182 airplane to plow through a fence off a Westerly State Airport taxiway and strike a parked BMW on Sunday afternoon, officials said.

Two workers who were conducting maintenance on the privately owned plane had started the engine around 1:45 p.m. after which the unoccupied aircraft went forward from the side of the taxiway through a thin wire fence and rammed a parked BMW in a grassy parking area, according to Westerly Police Capt. Shawn Lacey.

The collision caused considerable damage to both the car and plane, as well as causing superficial scrapes to both the workers, who were unidentified. Westerly Ambulance and personnel with the Westerly Fire Department responded and were able to treat both men on scene. Injuries were considered to be minor in nature, Westerly Fire Chief John Mackay said.

The owners of the BMW, a couple from Avon, Conn., were not present when the crash occurred. It was initially reported in several media outlets that the owner of the plane, 68-year-old Robert Rawlins, of Duanesburg, N.Y., was injured, but police said Monday he was not present at the time and was later contacted by phone to be notified of the crash. The aircraft is leased and used by Westerly Sky Dive, police confirmed, but was not operational on Sunday and was never in the air.

The case was investigated with assistance from the Rhode Island State Police and an aeronautical inspector with the Federal Aviation Administration, officials said. Representatives of the Rhode Island Airport Corporation, which owns the airport, were also on scene following the crash. The airfield remained open and operational during the incident, which occurred toward the edge of the airport.

WESTERLY, R.I. — A local aircraft owner suffered minor injuries Sunday afternoon when the single-engine plane he was working on went through a fence at the Westerly State Airport and hit a parked vehicle.

Patti Goldstein, a spokeswoman for the Rhode Island Airport Corporation, said the incident happened about 4 p.m. 

The airfield remained open and operational during the incident.

Westerly police and fire responded. 

The incident is under investigation, she said.

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