Single-engine plane crashes into power line tower in Montgomery County, Maryland

Robert Buchel /

A small aircraft crashed into a high-tension power line tower in Montgomery County, Maryland on the evening of November 27, 2022.

The plane, a single-engine Mooney M20J, departed from Westchester County Airport (HPN) and was headed for Montgomery County Airpark (GAI), when it crashed into the power line tower near GAI airport just before 18:00 local time.

Local media WBALTV reported that by 22:00 local time, an operation to rescue the plane’s occupants began. It involved a large crane, bucket trucks and crew from Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service, Maryland State Police and Potomac Electric Power Co. (PEPCO)

Pete Piringer, a spokesman for the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service told The New York Times that the aircraft had two occupants: the pilot, Patrick Merkle, 65, of Washington, and the passenger, Jan Williams, 66, of Louisiana. Both did not appear to be seriously injured.

PEPCO reported via a Tweet that the incident resulted in a power outage to more than 85,000 of its customers.

CNN aviation correspondent Pete Muntean tweeted that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) confirmed the incident, and that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will investigate.

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