Friday, September 13, 2019

Mooney M20J 201, N202JB: Accident occurred September 12, 2019 near Freeway Airport (W00), Bowie, Prince George's County, Maryland

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Washington

Aircraft attempted to abort takeoff, but became airborne and struck a car while trying to land on Route 50.

Date: 12-SEP-19
Time: 15:35:00Z
Regis#: N202JB
Aircraft Make: MOONEY
Aircraft Model: M20
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: MINOR
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)
Operation: 91

A small plane that had just taken off from Freeway Airport in Bowie, Maryland, struck a car traveling along U.S. 50 and crash-landed on the highway late Thursday morning. But remarkably, the crash did not lead to any major injuries, authorities said.

Two people who were inside the car that was struck were taken to the hospital with minor injuries, according to Prince George’s County Fire and EMS. The plane’s pilot and passenger were evaluated and treated for their injuries at the scene but declined to be taken to the hospital.

Photos from the scene showed a frightening scene. A small plane, with its left wing entirely sawed off, lay in the shoulder of U.S. 50 at Church Road. A silver Nissan with its front end smashed sat about 30 feet down the road.

In addition to only minor injuries, the crash did not cause a fire or spill any fuel, authorities said.

“I have to say, we are incredibly lucky this was not a more tragic story,” told Mike Yourishin, a spokesman with Prince George’s County Fire and EMS Department.

During an interview with NBC Washington, Fire Chief Benjamin Barksdale called it a “miracle.”

“No fire, no fuel spillage at all,” he said. “So yes, we’re very fortunate today.”

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said he was relieved there were no major injuries and tweeted his thanks to first responders “who acted so quickly to help those involved.”

The cause of the crash, which happened about 11:20 a.m. Thursday, is still unknown. Maryland State Police said the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board were both on the scene to investigate the crash.

State police identified the pilot of the small plane as 58-year-old Julius Tolson, of Laurel, Maryland, and his passenger as 57-year-old Michael Garrah, of Columbia, Maryland. The two men in the car were identified as 29-year-old Ryan McClain, D.C., and Eric Diprospero, of Baltimore.

The large response from police and emergency crews blocked the two eastbound lanes of U.S. 50 and one lane of the westbound lanes for several hours Thursday afternoon. All lanes had reopened shortly before 3:30 p.m.

Original article can be found here ➤

BOWIE, Maryland (WJLA) -A small airplane crashed into a car on Route 50 near Freeway Airport Thursday in Bowie, Maryland.

Prince George's County Fire officials say four people have been injured. Two adults in the car were taken to a hospital for treatment of minor injuries. The pilot of the plane and his passenger were treated at the scene.

Maryland State Police later identified the pilot of the plane as Julius Tolson, Jr., 58, of Laurel, Maryland, and the passenger of the plane, Michael Garrah, 57, of Columbia, Maryland, along with the driver of the passenger vehicle, Ryan McClain, 29, of Washington D.C., and his passenger, Eric Diprospero, 31, of Baltimore, Maryland,

Two eastbound left lanes and one westbound lane were closed on Route 50. After hours of heavy traffic delays, the lanes were reopened mid-afternoon.

The Federal Aviation Administration says the aircraft departed from Freeway Airport. Maryland State Police believe the pilot misjudged the landing prior to the crash.

According to the aircraft registration, the Mooney M20J is registered to Derrick A. Early of Greenbelt, Maryland.

Federal Aviation Administration officials say they're investigating the accident.

Story and video ➤

For months now, the family that owns Freeway Airport in Bowie, Maryland, has been working on a plan to sell the property, close the airstrip and get out of the aviation business.

The Prince George’s County Council held a hearing on their plan to do just that days before a near-tragic crash that involved a plane taking off from the airport and came close to voting to approve the plan.

The county council was supposed to hold a vote this past Tuesday on legislation that would change the zoning density for the land the airport is on.

Right now, that land is zoned to allow one home for every two acres of land. But, with so much development having already occurred in the area around the airport, the owners are pushing for a change that would allow developers to build hundreds of homes on the land.

During a county council meeting Tuesday, Kim Rodenhauser — whose family has owned and operated the airport since the 1940s — explained that the restrictions imposed on the airport by the 9/11 attacks have drained their finances and hindered the way Freeway Airport used to operate.

She said that at this point, she’s down to two choices:

“For us to spend our remaining money on marketing efforts [or] working to increase airport activity to allow more flights, lessons, fueling stops, maintenance operations,” and other activity.

At the time the airport was built, it was all farmland and far more rural than it is today, she admitted. In recent years, hundreds of new homes have been built just on the other side of Route 50, across from the airport.

“The area has changed from sleepy agricultural enclave to suburban residential,” Rodenhauser said. “I do not feel increasing airport activities is the best option. Accidents are a reality of general aviation airports. I personally know of 10 fatalities caused by accidents coming from the airport.”

For Rodenhauser, the second option is to sell to developers. But that venture also faces criticism.

Though the airport sits outside the boundaries of the city of Bowie, the family still went to the city asking to support the zoning change. City leaders unanimously opposed the plan, agreeing with many residents who live there and worried the plans were too big for Church Road, amid concerns that it wouldn’t be able to keep up with the increased traffic.

Earlier this summer, a teenager was hit and killed by a car while jogging along the road only a few hundred feet from the airport.

“Whatever they do, it’s not without controversy,” admitted Bowie Mayor Fred Robinson.

Robinson wouldn’t guess whether Thursday’s plane crash would change anyone’s opinion about the future of the airport. And while he’s still against the plans as they are now, it’s not something he’ll have a say in anyway.

The final decision rests with the county council, which ended up putting off a vote on the zoning change requested by the airport Tuesday.

After the proposal passed a council committee over the summer, the belief is that the county will likely end up approving the project eventually — despite the opposition of those in the surrounding communities.

Original article can be found here ➤

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