Two different plane crashes have occurred at flight schools in Virginia in the past three months, with both small aircraft accidents involving a faulty plane engine.
On August 26, a plane crashed near Luray, Virginia, after taking off from Luray Caverns airport. The pilot and passenger made it safely from Leesburg Executive Airport in Leesburg, Va., but had trouble taking off from Luray to return home. Although it took five attempts to start the engine, the plane then took off with everything operating normally. Shortly after takeoff, however, the plane slowed and they lost engine power. The National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) is now investigating the crash landing of the Piper Arrow III – specifically whether mechanical problems were the cause of the airplane crash.
On August 7, a Piper PA-28-161 single engine plane also went down in Virginia. This small aircraft crash took place at Winchester Regional Airport in Winchester, Va., during a flight lesson. The hour-long flight was uneventful until the plane was about five minutes from landing. At that point, the engine went from “full” to “idle” despite pilot intervention and troubleshooting. The plane crash landed to the left of the runway, hitting a fence and a berm before coming to a stop. The certified private pilot received minor injuries during the Virginia plane crash while the student pilot was uninjured. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the reason for the crash, but suspects an engine failure.
“An examination of the engine is scheduled for a later date,” an NTSB spokesperson said.
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