Woman Drowns in Chesapeake Bay After Surviving Plane Crash

by nph | October 3rd, 2011

An aereal view of Smith Island, located in the center of Chesapeake Bay

An aereal view of Smith Island, located in the center of Chesapeake Bay

October 3, 2011

An elderly Washington State woman died over the weekend after the small plane her son was piloting crashed into Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay.

According to The Washington Times, the 48-year-old pilot and his 78-year-old mother initially survived the crash on Sunday afternoon, exiting the downed plane before it sank. Together the two swam for nearly a mile in the choppy waters before the woman drowned and the man continued on to Smith Island.

“[The pilot] said after about a mile of swimming in rough water with waves three to five feet high, his mother passed away,” Greg Shipley, a spokesman with the Maryland State Police, said in a news release. “Ross continued on and was able to reach the island.”

Maryland State Police say they located the body of the woman, who was from Sequim, Washington, along the south side of the island around 9 a.m. on Monday morning.

The pilot was treated for injuries and released from Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury. He told police that his two-seater plane malfunctioned and that he’d radioed Patuxent River Naval Air Station to attempt a landing on Smith Island instead of Tangier Island, as he’d originally planned. Earlier in the day the plane had taken off from Hyde Field in Clinton, Maryland.

Around 3:30 p.m. officials began an air search for the pilot and passenger after the air station reported their plane disappeared from radar about three miles away from Smith Island.

Officials have yet to find the plane, which the pilot said sank rapidly after he landed it in the water. The Maryland Natural Resources Police and St. Mary County state police assisted in the recovery efforts.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the crash.

Read more.

What do you think may have caused this Maryland aviation accident?

If you or someone you know has had their safety compromised on a commercial or private aircraft, the aviation lawyers at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy can help.

Photo Source: http://susansonsmithisland.com