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TMccrury
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Small Plane Crashes into Power Line in Maryland

Mon Nov 28, 2022 3:08 am

A small plane crashed into a power line in Maryland and was dangling from the power line. Both occupants were unharmed. It did leave 85,000 without power. https://www.foxnews.com/us/maryland-pla ... ling-plane
 
D L X
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Small Plane crash into power lines in Maryland (pax ok)

Mon Nov 28, 2022 3:12 am

A small plane crashed into some high tension power lines in the DC suburbs early this evening. The pilot and passenger are apparently OK, but trapped. Rescue underway. Less importantly, the power remains out to a large area near the crash.

And there's something just spectacular about looking at a plane hanging from a power line, like a bug caught in a spider's web.

https://www.cnn.com/2022/11/27/us/maryl ... index.html
 
910A
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Re: Small Plane crash into power lines in Maryland (pax ok)

Mon Nov 28, 2022 3:53 am

The Washington Post has a picture from a different angle. https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va ... ontgomery/
According to the article it appears this isn't the first time he has issues.

A D.C. pilot with the same name and age survived at least one crash before. On Aug. 4, 1992, a single-engine plane piloted by Patrick Merkle struck the side of a mountain in Farmington Canyon, Utah, according to an account in the Salt Lake Tribune. Part of the wings and tail section were ripped off as the plane flew through pine trees, the newspaper account said, and the fuselage crashed into the side of the mountain.
 
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Joshu
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Re: Small Plane crash into power lines in Maryland (pax ok)

Mon Nov 28, 2022 4:52 am

The local school district and college have canceled school tomorrow due to the power outage.
 
D L X
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Re: Small Plane crash into power lines in Maryland (pax ok)

Mon Nov 28, 2022 6:22 am

Both occupants have been rescued, per https://twitter.com/dcnewsnow/status/15 ... bs4YHwdR0w
 
D L X
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Re: Small Plane crash into power lines in Maryland (pax ok)

Mon Nov 28, 2022 2:21 pm

Image
 
maps4ltd
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Re: Small Plane crash into power lines in Maryland (pax ok)

Mon Nov 28, 2022 4:13 pm

N-number?
 
D L X
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Re: Small Plane crash into power lines in Maryland (pax ok)

Mon Nov 28, 2022 4:49 pm

The plane has now also been brought down. https://twitter.com/nbcwashington/statu ... snkNeQ95ew
 
MohawkWeekend
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Re: Small Plane crash into power lines in Maryland (pax ok)

Mon Nov 28, 2022 4:56 pm

Just wondering - does a typical insurance policy for a light aircraft cover the damages and recovery costs? In this case, you'd be looking at a large bill for the cranes and the response vehicles. Imagine what the insurance doesn't cover, you would be responsible for yourself?
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Small Plane crash into power lines in Maryland (pax ok)

Mon Nov 28, 2022 5:22 pm

Yes, liability coverage would pay for those costs. Yes, you’d cover anything outside of the insurance. It used to be that aviation insurance did NOT pay if the accident was the result of a regulation violation, it is near impossible to have an accident without a violation. Can’t say if that’s still true.
 
WayexTDI
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Re: Small Plane crash into power lines in Maryland (pax ok)

Mon Nov 28, 2022 5:32 pm

MohawkWeekend wrote:
Just wondering - does a typical insurance policy for a light aircraft cover the damages and recovery costs? In this case, you'd be looking at a large bill for the cranes and the response vehicles. Imagine what the insurance doesn't cover, you would be responsible for yourself?

Define "large bill".
Response vehicles are usually paid by the city/county responsible for it; it's part of the taxes you pay.
For the cranes, maybe a few tens of thousands of dollars; when you owe a plane, you usually have a liability insurance, tied to the frame or not. So, this would most likely be covered by this insurance.
 
FlyingElvii
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Re: Small Plane crash into power lines in Maryland (pax ok)

Mon Nov 28, 2022 6:21 pm

That guy won the lottery, a one-in-100,000,000+ chance to survive that.

The cable arm is embedded just behind the cabin, holding the airplane up. Flaps and gear are down, so not a lot of energy going into the crash.

That tower is just off of the approach for that airport, and Weather was variable crappy.
 
D L X
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Re: Small Plane crash into power lines in Maryland (pax ok)

Mon Nov 28, 2022 6:30 pm

FlyingElvii wrote:
That guy won the lottery, a one-in-100,000,000+ chance to survive that.

The cable arm is embedded just behind the cabin, holding the airplane up. Flaps and gear are down, so not a lot of energy going into the crash.

That tower is just off of the approach for that airport, and Weather was variable crappy.

And on top of that, this is this pilot’s second crash.
 
D L X
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Re: Small Plane crash into power lines in Maryland (pax ok)

Mon Nov 28, 2022 6:32 pm

WayexTDI wrote:
MohawkWeekend wrote:
Just wondering - does a typical insurance policy for a light aircraft cover the damages and recovery costs? In this case, you'd be looking at a large bill for the cranes and the response vehicles. Imagine what the insurance doesn't cover, you would be responsible for yourself?

Define "large bill".
Response vehicles are usually paid by the city/county responsible for it; it's part of the taxes you pay.
For the cranes, maybe a few tens of thousands of dollars; when you owe a plane, you usually have a liability insurance, tied to the frame or not. So, this would most likely be covered by this insurance.

That may be different jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Montgomery County, Maryland famously makes you (or at least used to make you) pay for your own ambulances, so having to pay for your own rescue is a question I have too.
 
MohawkWeekend
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Re: Small Plane crash into power lines in Maryland (pax ok)

Mon Nov 28, 2022 7:06 pm

Wonder what the power company will charge him for their call out, damages and disrupted power. Does anyone know how much a typical hull policy would cover?
And there was a passenger who might sue too. No wonder GA small aircraft insurance is so high.
 
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b777900
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Re: Small Plane crash into power lines in Maryland (pax ok)

Mon Nov 28, 2022 7:32 pm

There Was some injuries.. plus Hyperthermia.
 
zuckie13
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Re: Small Plane crash into power lines in Maryland (pax ok)

Mon Nov 28, 2022 9:12 pm

They got damn lucky really.

If they hit the lines between poles, would have knocked them out of the sky maybe as it caught in the prop or on other surfaces.
Got lucky that it caught on the tower and didn't just bounce off and fall.
Also got lucky that as they got caught on the tower they managed not to get cooked as it shorted/tripped. Plane would make a great connection between the wire and the tower (ground).
 
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atcsundevil
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Re: Small Plane crash into power lines in Maryland (pax ok)

Mon Nov 28, 2022 10:02 pm

Well if anyone was wondering if it was possible to turn a Mooney into an EV, this probably isn't the ideal method.

b777900 wrote:
There Was some injuries.. plus Hyperthermia.

Hypothermia. Hyper = high, hypo = low. I'm skeptical they were hypothermic...I live about 10 miles away, and it was in the low 50s last night. Light jacket weather. The rain had already ended too.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Small Plane crash into power lines in Maryland (pax ok)

Mon Nov 28, 2022 10:11 pm

D L X wrote:
WayexTDI wrote:
MohawkWeekend wrote:
Just wondering - does a typical insurance policy for a light aircraft cover the damages and recovery costs? In this case, you'd be looking at a large bill for the cranes and the response vehicles. Imagine what the insurance doesn't cover, you would be responsible for yourself?

Define "large bill".
Response vehicles are usually paid by the city/county responsible for it; it's part of the taxes you pay.
For the cranes, maybe a few tens of thousands of dollars; when you owe a plane, you usually have a liability insurance, tied to the frame or not. So, this would most likely be covered by this insurance.

That may be different jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Montgomery County, Maryland famously makes you (or at least used to make you) pay for your own ambulances, so having to pay for your own rescue is a question I have too.


Paying for ambulance service is pretty common, you or your insurer pays in MA.
 
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FLALEFTY
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Re: Small Plane crash into power lines in Maryland (pax ok)

Mon Nov 28, 2022 10:47 pm

Looking at Flight Aware it seemed that N201RF (the accident aircraft) was attempting a RNAV GPS approach to RWY 14 at GAI. Things seemed to go fine with altitude and glide slope on the approach until the pilot reached JOXOX fix where he must have thought he was above the glide slope and apparently attempted to dive down to get back on it. The METAR at the time reported GAI was IFR with a ceiling of 200 ft. overcast and visibility of 1.25 miles. The surrounding terrain is between 500ft. to 850ft. MSL, so the margin of error for the approach is pretty small. Add in the transmission line towers and the pilot ended up with a bad day.

Glad they both got out OK. Also, it was good to hear that the power was eventually restored.

https://flightaware.com/live/flight/N20 ... /KHPN/KGAI

https://flightaware.com/resources/airpo ... /RNAV+(GPS)+RWY+14/pdf
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Small Plane crash into power lines in Maryland (pax ok)

Mon Nov 28, 2022 11:04 pm

With a 200’ ceiling, it’d be nice to have an ILS approach rather than a non-precision GPS. Perhaps, better risk assessment would have led yo an ILS at KBWI.
 
phl27rphotog
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Re: Small Plane crash into power lines in Maryland (pax ok)

Mon Nov 28, 2022 11:07 pm

maps4ltd wrote:
N-number?


N201RF
 
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b777900
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Re: Small Plane crash into power lines in Maryland (pax ok)

Tue Nov 29, 2022 9:52 am

atcsundevil wrote:
Well if anyone was wondering if it was possible to turn a Mooney into an EV, this probably isn't the ideal method.

b777900 wrote:
There Was some injuries.. plus Hyperthermia.

Hypothermia. Hyper = high, hypo = low. I'm skeptical they were hypothermic...I live about 10 miles away, and it was in the low 50s last night. Light jacket weather. The rain had already ended too.


We watched nbc 4 with the Fire Chief update from MCFR on Sunday he gave out that info.
 
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atcsundevil
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Re: Small Plane crash into power lines in Maryland (pax ok)

Tue Nov 29, 2022 11:41 am

b777900 wrote:
atcsundevil wrote:
Well if anyone was wondering if it was possible to turn a Mooney into an EV, this probably isn't the ideal method.

b777900 wrote:
There Was some injuries.. plus Hyperthermia.

Hypothermia. Hyper = high, hypo = low. I'm skeptical they were hypothermic...I live about 10 miles away, and it was in the low 50s last night. Light jacket weather. The rain had already ended too.


We watched nbc 4 with the Fire Chief update from MCFR on Sunday he gave out that info.

Okay, well there's no way he said "hyperthermia" unless Gaithersburg has a desert I'm not aware of.
 
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atcsundevil
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Re: Small Plane crash into power lines in Maryland (pax ok)

Tue Nov 29, 2022 11:59 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
D L X wrote:
WayexTDI wrote:
Define "large bill".
Response vehicles are usually paid by the city/county responsible for it; it's part of the taxes you pay.
For the cranes, maybe a few tens of thousands of dollars; when you owe a plane, you usually have a liability insurance, tied to the frame or not. So, this would most likely be covered by this insurance.

That may be different jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Montgomery County, Maryland famously makes you (or at least used to make you) pay for your own ambulances, so having to pay for your own rescue is a question I have too.


Paying for ambulance service is pretty common, you or your insurer pays in MA.

Yeah, places with free ambulance services are few and far between these days, and may as well be considered effectively non-existent. Most departments won't bill someone for the cost of rescue or extrication unless there's a legal provision that permits them to do so (a "stupid motorist" law, for example), but 99.9% of jurisdictions bill for ambulance transport. When I worked in EMS, it was $780 for a BLS transport, $860 for an ALS transport, $18/mile, plus costs for all supplies used. Those costs are negotiated down by insurers typically 20-30%, and capped by Medicare/Medicaid based on what they choose to pay out (sometimes only about half). It used to be that county provided services in the DC area, especially in Maryland where the EMS system was born, used to be covered, but that's not really the case anymore and hasn't been for decades. EMS isn't even considered an essential service in the vast majority of US states, and therefore isn't legally required, which is why costs are passed along to patients either in part or in full. Fire and police are essential services in every state, and therefore they have no choice but to offer assistance, so they're not able to pass costs onto the individual requiring rescue unless there's a legal provision or penalty. Usually that's for something like purposely driving into high water, not for something like this.

In this case, their rescue will be covered by taxpayers, but they'll pay the bill for the transport to the hospital and for the recovery of the aircraft by a private salvage company.
 
Heinkel
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Re: Small Plane crash into power lines in Maryland (pax ok)

Tue Nov 29, 2022 2:18 pm

atcsundevil wrote:
In this case, their rescue will be covered by taxpayers, but they'll pay the bill for the transport to the hospital and for the recovery of the aircraft by a private salvage company.


Agreed 100%.

The next question is, if some of the 85.000 people affected by the black-out will sue the pilot and/or owner for damages or losses?

The pilot and/or the owner definitely have to pay the repair of the power lines but that should be covered by a third party liabilty insurance. But what about the "indirect" damages to the people affected by the black-out?
 
MSJYOP28Apilot
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Re: Small Plane crash into power lines in Maryland (pax ok)

Tue Nov 29, 2022 3:35 pm

https://wtop.com/montgomery-county/2022 ... -hospital/

Pilot in 911 call admitted to descending below the MDA trying to find the airport during low ceilings and visibility. Looks like a case of get-there-itis.
 
SANMSP
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Re: Small Plane crash into power lines in Maryland (pax ok)

Tue Nov 29, 2022 4:30 pm

MohawkWeekend wrote:
Wonder what the power company will charge him for their call out, damages and disrupted power. Does anyone know how much a typical hull policy would cover?
And there was a passenger who might sue too. No wonder GA small aircraft insurance is so high.


Power companies are regulated by each state as far as costs it must absorb vs. pass on, so it all depends on what the Maryland Public Service Commission would allow. That said, I wouldn't be surprised at all if they're allowed to make the pilot or his insurance cover all of the costs you listed.

Based on my experience with transmission line maint and construction, we're looking at a bill of at least $100k to inspect and repair any damaged conductor, replace the damaged steel lattice, replace any damaged conductor or insulator hardware on the middle phase, and replace the flashed over insulators. All three insulators on the circuit that the plane hit look absolutely cooked. Insulator changeouts and conductor repairs are relatively straightforward and can be completed in less than a day, but if it takes a lot of crew time to replace the damaged steel lattice, the repair cost will climb rapidly because of all the labor and equipment involved. Not to mention, power will not be restored on this circuit until the repair is complete.

I am surprised that the crash knocked out power to a large area. I don't know the exact voltage of this line, but typically transmission lines of this size have a decent amount of redundancy within the grid except during peak summer and winter load.
 
zuckie13
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Re: Small Plane crash into power lines in Maryland (pax ok)

Tue Nov 29, 2022 5:04 pm

SANMSP wrote:
I am surprised that the crash knocked out power to a large area. I don't know the exact voltage of this line, but typically transmission lines of this size have a decent amount of redundancy within the grid except during peak summer and winter load.


It's wasn't so much an outage due to the crash itself, but more what they had to rapidly turn off to make sure nothing was possibly going to put any power on there from either end of any of those lines. Basically step 1 was de-energize everything fed by them and don't' flip on any other source until the rescue was done and complete isolation was in place so they could continue to work to bring the wreckage down.
 
SANMSP
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Re: Small Plane crash into power lines in Maryland (pax ok)

Tue Nov 29, 2022 5:45 pm

zuckie13 wrote:
SANMSP wrote:
I am surprised that the crash knocked out power to a large area. I don't know the exact voltage of this line, but typically transmission lines of this size have a decent amount of redundancy within the grid except during peak summer and winter load.


It's wasn't so much an outage due to the crash itself, but more what they had to rapidly turn off to make sure nothing was possibly going to put any power on there from either end of any of those lines. Basically step 1 was de-energize everything fed by them and don't' flip on any other source until the rescue was done and complete isolation was in place so they could continue to work to bring the wreckage down.


Got it. That level of caution makes sense given the situation.
 
D L X
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Re: Small Plane crash into power lines in Maryland (pax ok)

Tue Nov 29, 2022 5:51 pm

SANMSP wrote:

Based on my experience with transmission line maint and construction, we're looking at a bill of at least $100k to inspect and repair any damaged conductor, replace the damaged steel lattice, replace any damaged conductor or insulator hardware on the middle phase, and replace the flashed over insulators.


Is that before or after they called in the helicopter-borne repair folks to come through?
https://twitter.com/ReporterJoseph/stat ... 5989723136


SANMSP wrote:
All three insulators on the circuit that the plane hit look absolutely cooked.

Amazing that it didn't cook the plane!
 
sealevel
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Re: Small Plane crash into power lines in Maryland (pax ok)

Tue Nov 29, 2022 6:48 pm

Being a single cable on the insulator(s), typically 138KV, if it's 2 in a bundle, 345kv, 3 in a bundle 500kv, 4 in the bundle, 765kv.
 
SANMSP
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Re: Small Plane crash into power lines in Maryland (pax ok)

Tue Nov 29, 2022 6:51 pm

D L X wrote:
SANMSP wrote:

Based on my experience with transmission line maint and construction, we're looking at a bill of at least $100k to inspect and repair any damaged conductor, replace the damaged steel lattice, replace any damaged conductor or insulator hardware on the middle phase, and replace the flashed over insulators.


Is that before or after they called in the helicopter-borne repair folks to come through?
https://twitter.com/ReporterJoseph/stat ... 5989723136


Yikes! I didn't know that. Yes, it's very likely that would drive repair costs up, though using helicopter crews offsets some costs you would see with a ground crew, especially if your work area is inaccessible to trucks. On jobs I've led that require helicopter crews, it's amazing to just park my truck near the LZ's and catch up on emails while the helicopters buzz around picking up men and equipment and landed for hot refueling. Some of the pilots and linemen are ex-military and have prior experience with "Human External Cargo" procedures, which among other things, can involve being hauled by a belly line like what you see in the Twitter vid.

One fun fact about the helicopters: To ensure they're as light and maneuverable as possible, all navigation equipment is stripped out of them, so the pilots can only fly visual when ferrying between jobs and sometimes must make multi-day trips if they run out of daylight when ferrying. I've seen the cockpits, and they are bare bones. I know of at least one pilot who landed in a remote area when he ran out of daylight and woke up the next morning in thick fog. He had to camp out for 2 days while he waited for the ceiling to get high enough to take off again and continue onward.

D L X wrote:
SANMSP wrote:
All three insulators on the circuit that the plane hit look absolutely cooked.

Amazing that it didn't cook the plane!


https://www.nytimes.com/2022/11/27/us/m ... -line.html

Based on the pic in this NYT link, it looks like the plane may have impacted between the top and middle phases and bent the arm down, therefore avoiding contact with the conductor. Very lucky indeed.
 
zuckie13
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Re: Small Plane crash into power lines in Maryland (pax ok)

Tue Dec 06, 2022 6:09 pm

Preliminary Report is out: https://data.ntsb.gov/carol-repgen/api/ ... 106368/pdf

Sounds like a lot of challenge getting him moved towards the approach fix. Not making turns to it as instructed by ATC. Was below the approach path the entire way in. 225 below the first fix, over 400 below and the next two fixes (and that last one he was below decision altitude when crossing it). While he was navigating towards that initial approach fix, another plane diverted due to being below minima.

Does say the tested the altimeter and it was found to be "“well within the test allowable error at all ranges.”

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