Sunday, 26 May 2013

Plane Crash: Search For 'Angel Flight' Pilot

Plane Crash: Search For 'Angel Flight' Pilot
 Plane Crash: Search For 'Angel
Flight' Pilot


The search has resumed for the pilot of a volunteer medical flight days after the plane crashed in woods in New York, killing at least two people.
Divers have been using sonar equipment to scour a big, murky pond where much of the wreckage of the Angel Flight aircraft was submerged.
Supervisor Todd Bradt said the divers had trouble seeing in the water because it was so muddy, but a piece of the plane was removed.
The flight's two passengers, a husband and wife, were found dead on Friday near the crash site in Ephratah, a small town about an hour west of Albany.
The search for the pilot was unsuccessful on Saturday and teams have also been looking in woods.
Angel Flight is a non-profit group that works with volunteer pilots and sets up free air transportation and medical care for sick patients.
It claims it has helped more than 65,000 children and adults on about 60,000 flights covering more than 12 million miles. It was founded in 1996.
Larry Camerlin, president and founder of Angel Flight Northeast, said the organisation was "tremendously saddened" by news of the crash.
The twin-engine Piper PA 34 had left Hanscom Field in Bedford, Massachussetts and was heading to Rome in New York before it crashed just after 5pm on Friday.
The National Transportation Safety Board said the plane did not issue a distress call before losing radar and radio contact.
Officials have not yet identified the passengers, pilot or cause of the crash.
Visibility at the time in Rome was 10 miles, said National Weather Service meteorologist Brian Montgomery. It was slightly raining with winds of 13-14 mph.
Witnesses described the destruction that started in the air above Ephratah, a sleepy town of about 700 people.
The car park of Granny's Ice Cream Shanty, less than a mile from the crash site, was packed with emergency vehicles.
Owner Joan Dudley told The Associated Press that she and her employees were among the first at the scene.
"We were just leaving to get something to eat, and we heard this noise," Ms Dudley said.
"We looked up and saw the plane flipping in the air. Then it fell apart," she said. "Parts and pieces of it were flying through the sky, and a body fell out."
They called 911 as they parked their car and ran to the crash site in the rain to see if they could rescue anyone.
"Airplane parts were all over the place," she said. "They were picking them up all over."
Ephratah resident Roger Berry, 75, said: "When I heard it, I knew something was wrong. It made one circle and came back around."
Mr Berry said he heard a bang, then saw pieces of the plane fall out of the air. Although most of the plane landed in the pond, he said pieces, including the engine, scattered about the area.
The motor fell 50ft from his neighbour's bedroom, where she was sleeping, Mr Berry said.