Monday, October 3, 2011

Small Plane Crashes Into Chesapeake Bay- Search For Woman Continues

An elderly woman was missing and her pilot son swam to shore after a small plane crashed into the Chesapeake Bay near , on Sunday, officials said.

The single-engine plane went down about 3:30 p.m. after the pilot declared an emergency and told air traffic controllers at Patuxent River Naval Air Station that he was having trouble with the plane and didn’t think he could make it to Tangier Island Airport in Virginia, the Coast Guard said.

The pilot -- whose name and hometown have not been released -- said he was trying to make it to Smith Island, Maryland State Police said, and his plane disappeared from radar.

A search began by the Coast Guard, Maryland State Police and state Natural Resources Police.

About 8 p.m., residents reported the pilot was on Smith Island and said he had swam to shore. He was flown by state police helicopter to Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salsibury, Md.

At the hospital, the man told police his mother was on board the plane he owned. He said both were able to get out of the plane after it crashed and before it sank, police said.

The pilot said his mother died while they were in the water.

The search for the mother is continuing.

State police, the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the crash, which police said is believed to have happened within three miles of Smith Island.

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