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Investigators Back on Scene of Deadly Plane Crash in Albemarle County

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Crash scene in Albemarle County (Photo courtesy Virginia State Police) Crash scene in Albemarle County (Photo courtesy Virginia State Police)
Investigators on the scene of a deadly plane crash in Albemarle County Investigators on the scene of a deadly plane crash in Albemarle County
Western Albemarle Rescue Squad Special Operations near the scene of a fatal plane crash Western Albemarle Rescue Squad Special Operations near the scene of a fatal plane crash
Private road that leads to the scene of a fatal plane crash in Albemarle County Private road that leads to the scene of a fatal plane crash in Albemarle County
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) -

Investigators with several agencies are on the scene of a deadly plane crash in Albemarle County.

Members of the Virginia State Police, National Transportation Security Board (NTSB), and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) were out at the crash site to conduct their preliminary investigation Monday, April 16.

First responders were called out to private property near Saddle Hollow Road around 9 p.m. Sunday, April 15.

A 1996 fixed-wing, twin-engine Cessna had crashed into an open area at the base of the mountain.

"The largest pieces up there were actually the two jet engines that were on the ground, and one piece of probably six-foot worth of metal. But otherwise, everything was down into small pieces," said Crozet Fire Assistant Chief Larry Devault.

Emergency crews recovered one body from the crash, and authorities do not believe anyone else had been on board the plane. Fire and rescue crews say Sunday night’s torrential downpours limited their recovery efforts.

"It was steep, wet, it was treacherous, and it just was hard getting vehicles up there. It was hard getting manpower up there," Devault said.

Several neighbors say they called 911 just minutes after the crash. They add their small community has been flooded with tragedy: first there was a deadly train crash in February, and now a deadly plane crash.

"Fear really was just making sure things on the property were safe. Nothing had happened to the house, and then thoughts of survivors, what could have happened and it was raining a good deal,” said witness Hawker Dawes.

"I think the community is concerned about what's going on. I'm sure everyone will band together and figure out how to deal with it," neighbor Elaine Clark said.

Police are working to positively identify the victim in the crash, as well as notifying next of kin.

Neighbors are offering their condolences to the pilot's family.

"I'm sure they're grief stricken, it's a horrible, horrible thing to happen and my thoughts are with them," said Dawes.

Virginia State Police announced Monday afternoon that the crash scene has been turned over to the NTSB and FAA for their official investigations into the cause of the incident.


04/16/2018 Release from Virginia State Police:

The crash scene near Saddle Hollow Road in Crozet has been turned over to the NTSB and FAA for their official investigations into the cause of the fatal plane crash.

State police are still awaiting confirmation from the Office of the Medical Examiner on the pilot's identification. Until that positive identification is made and next of kin is formally notified, state police will not be releasing the pilot's name.

At 9:03 p.m., Sunday (April 15), Virginia State Police responded to a report of a downed plane near Saddle Hollow Road in Crozet. The 1996 fixed-wing, twin-engine Cessna crashed in a remote area and one body was recovered from the wreckage. At this stage of the investigation, it has been determined that the aircraft had only one occupant.

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