Friday, June 25, 2021

Piper PA-28-161 Warrior II, N2143G: Accident occurred June 24, 2021 near Easton Airport (KESN), Talbot County, Maryland

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.

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

Additional Participating Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Baltimore, Maryland
Piper Aircraft Inc; Vero Beach, Florida 
Lycoming Engines; Williamsport, Pennsylvania 

Trident Aircraft Inc

Location: Easton, MD 
Accident Number: ERA21LA267
Date & Time: June 24, 2021, 11:15 Local
Registration: N2143G
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-161
Injuries: 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Instructional

On June 24, 2021, about 1115 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-28-161, N2143G, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Easton Maryland. The pilot was seriously injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 instructional flight.

According to the student pilot, he conducted a preflight inspection before he and his instructor completed the engine run-up and takeoff roll with no anomalies noted. They stayed in the pattern conducting three takeoffs and landings before stopping to let the instructor out so the student pilot could attempt three solo take-off and landings.

After the second take-off the student pilot was turning onto the downwind leg of the traffic pattern when he heard a reduction in engine power and could see the propeller slowing down. He was at an altitude of about 700 ft on downwind and had to pitch the airplane forward so it would not stall. The pilot did not think he could make it back to the airport, so he picked a field and set up for a forced landing. He made one last turn before landing with an airspeed of about 60 knots at touch down and then recalled striking a pile of metal on the ground.

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector examined the airplane after the accident and confirmed that the airplane had been consumed by a post-impact fire.

The was retained for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N2143G
Model/Series: PA-28-161
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Pilot school (141)
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: ESN,72 ft msl
Observation Time: 11:13 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 24°C /10°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 6000 ft AGL
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 9 knots / 14 knots, 100°
Lowest Ceiling: 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.4 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Easton, MD
Destination: Easton, MD

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 
Aircraft Fire: On-ground
Ground Injuries:
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious 
Latitude, Longitude: 38.813886,-76.065659

EASTON — A small airplane crashed in an open field Thursday morning as it was departing from Easton Airport.

The pilot, a Naval Academy midshipman who was conscious upon landing, suffered a severe leg injury but was able to extricate himself from the burning plane. Two employees from Barkers Landing Corporation, who were working on a construction site further down Technology Drive, rushed to the crash area and carried the pilot to safety.

With a belt, the workers, Robert Bridge and Derek Hoffman, then applied a tourniquet to the pilot’s leg before he was airlifted to the R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore.

The plane was executing a test flight as part of the Naval Academy’s Powered Flight Program – a summer program conducted by Trident Aircraft that provides prospective naval aviators the opportunity to learn how to fly prior to beginning Naval Flight School.

According to a press release from the Naval Academy, participants in the Powered Flight Program undergo weeks of intensive training, memorization, and instructor-led flights. If qualified, midshipmen may fly solo.

The Naval Academy did not identify the midshipman in the Easton crash, but did confirm that there were no other persons in the plane.

The single-engine PA-28 model plane left Easton Airport shortly after 11 a.m. on June 24. According to Easton Airport manager Micah Risher, the facility was notified of the emergency landing at approximately 11:15 a.m.

Three fire and one rescue engines dispatched by the Easton Volunteer Fire Department arrived at the scene at 11:20 a.m., and the flames were extinguished less than five minutes after that, 3rd Lt. Justin Jones said.

According to Hoffman, who overheard the pilot’s call to 911, the plane had lost power before crashing. Neither Hoffman or Bridge saw smoke coming from the aircraft as it was coming down, though they described its flight as “wobbly.”

After hearing the crash, both men ran all the way down Technology Drive. The plane landed just past the end of the road in a field littered with steel beams.

Hoffman and Bridge found the pilot, who had managed to exit the cockpit, sitting on the ground next to the plane. He was on the phone with 911.

“He was well aware of what was going on,” Hoffman said of the pilot.

Without the patient’s name, the Shock Trauma Center was unable to provide an update on his condition at this time.

The crash is currently under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration’s Flight Standards Office in Linthicum Heights. Further investigations will be conducted by the National Transportation Safety Board and the Easton Airport, as well as the airport’s Air Traffic Control Tower, which will run through its own list of investigative procedures.


  1. Hope the young man's leg gets fully healed. When you need a tornoquette it's pretty bad. A permanent leg injury can get you knocked off of the highly competitive Naval Academy graduate aviator candidate selection list.

  2. Pilot was lucky he was able to get out before he was burned. I will take a broken or amputated leg over severe burns anytime. I hope he can make a full recovery.