Marine Corps pilot crash-lands small airplane on I-97 near Annapolis, Maryland
By PHIL DAVIS AND E.B. FURGURSON III | The Capital, Annapolis, Md. | Published: November 11, 2017
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (Tribune News Service) — A Marine Corps pilot returning to Tipton Airport from a pleasure flight over the Eastern Shore with his sons on Friday made an emergency crash landing on the ramp off Interstate 97 near Annapolis.
The pilot and two children aboard were not injured when the rented single-engine airplane came down.
Maryland State Police said Friday night the pilot, Christopher Curry, 32, landed the plane after it lost RPMs as he was returning to Tipton Airport.
Police said the plane clipped a guardrail and a light pole, then crashed. A wing was ripped from the plane, but the passenger compartment was completely intact, police said.
Terence Russell, whose company leases the Socata Tobago XL, said Curry is a former Harrier jet pilot now stationed at Fort George G. Meade.
Capt. Russ Davies, a spokesman for the Anne Arundel County Fire Department, posted information on Twitter shortly after 3:30 p.m. that the plane crashed on the ramp from I-97 South to Aris T. Allen Boulevard.
A Maryland Department of Transportation traffic camera photo showed a plane near a wooded area just off the roadway with police and fire engines on the roadway. The camera was shut off shortly after the crash.
Davies said the department initially received a call from aviation officials that the pilot of a single-engine plane had declared an emergency and was attempting to land at Lee Airport in Edgewater.
Before firefighters could respond to the small airport south of Annapolis, however, Davies said 911 dispatchers started getting calls about a crashed aircraft in the area of I-97 and Aris T. Allen Boulevard at 3:23 p.m.
The plane is a 16-year-old aircraft owned by Tipton Tampico and leased to 1World Aero, Russell’s company. Based at Tipton, 1World Aero used the aircraft for charter flights, rentals and lessons. The former military airstrip is now run by Anne Arundel County as a civilian airfield.
Davies said Curry told firefighters and police the aircraft had about 16 gallons of fuel on board at the time of the crash.
Crews worked through rush hour to clean up the wreckage. By 5:15 p.m. a large wrecker was working to removing the plane.
Traffic on southbound I-97 slowed to a crawl as a result of the crash, and some backups were reported on Route 50.
It is currently unclear what caused the plane to lose engine power.
The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board were notified and will investigate the cause and details of the crash.