Monday, December 26, 2022

Piper PA-28-151 Cherokee Warrior, N1867H: Accident occurred December 26, 2022 near Lee Airport (KANP), Arundel County, Maryland

National Transportation Safety Board - Accident Number: ERA23LA093 

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Baltimore, Maryland 

Aircraft crashed in a creek under unknown circumstances.
W Tech Consulting Inc

Date: 26-DEC-22
Time: 15:22:00Z
Regis#: N1867H
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA28
Event Type: Accident 
Highest Injury: UNKNOWN
Flight Crew: 1 Unknown Injuries
Pax: 0
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: EN ROUTE (ENR)
Operation: 91

ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY, Maryland - A Piper PA-28-151 Cherokee Warrior crashed into Beards Creek in Anne Arundel County, officials say.

The pilot and sole occupant has been identified as Steve Couchman, 71, of Frederick, Maryland. He was transported by ambulance to Anne Arundel Medical Center where he is receiving medical treatment for injuries sustained in the crash. 

Shortly before 10:30 a.m. this morning, Maryland State Police from the Glen Burnie and Annapolis Barracks were dispatched to the report of a plane crash near Lee Airport in Edgewater, Maryland. 

The preliminary investigation indicates that moments after the pilot took off from Lee Airport, the engine of his plane began sputtering. Witnesses told police they heard the sputter and shortly thereafter, they heard the plane crash into Beards Creek.

Two nearby civilians and an on-duty police officer from the Anne Arundel County Police Department who heard the call used three kayaks to skim across the iced creek to provide assistance to the pilot. 

While the plane was sinking, the pilot exited his plane and stood on the wing. Once the kayakers were close enough, the pilot was able to hang on to one of them to stay afloat.

Moments later, officers from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Police responded to the scene by boat. Upon their arrival, an officer cut through the ice and pulled the pilot safely into the boat and transported him to the Annapolis Landing Marina nearby where the pilot was subsequently transported by ambulance to the hospital.

Maryland State Police from the Annapolis and Glen Burnie Barracks remain on the scene. None of the kayakers were injured during the rescue operation. The investigation continues.


  1. from photos and aerial photos of ANP, pic entered the creek a very short and straight distance beyond threshold of rwy 12; thus he unlikely and or barely lifted off of departure rwy 30. @ 2500 x 48 ft.

    1. It wasn't straight off the end, may have been turning back.

      The officer's body cam captured the unique structure that the kayak departure was made from, map-pinned here:

      At 1:53 in the kayak video, the distance to the dock in the background isn't made to appear as close as in the news photos. The kayak video suggests that the wheel seen on the ice is near this map-pinned location or maybe a bit closer to the dock:

    2. Kayak video at 0:52 to 0:54 is where you can see that the departure point is the gazebo with open deck beside it. Not a match to the boat shed that is just beyond the end of the runway.

  2. History shows that landing a fixed gear aircraft on the water usually results in the airplane flipping over with some serious G forces in the stop, thus it appears the ice broke off the landing gear, thus no flip or wing tip entry that would have flipped him and he'd likely not here to talk about it...
    first pic shows straight and level at impact on his left hand departure @ or near 38.942314, -76.574827....