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Neighbor heard big bang when small plane crashed into fence

Posted at 12:11 PM, Aug 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-19 15:27:23-04

NEW KENT COUNTY, Va. -- The pilot and flight instructor of a small plan that crashed in rural New Kent County Friday morning has died of his injuries, Virginia State Police officials said Saturday.

A student pilot was also injured when the plane crash landed in a field off Route 665, near Crosses Grove Road, in the Quinton area of the county at 11:05 a.m.

"A small, fixed-wing, private aircraft crash landed into a field and then struck a fence," a Virginia State Police spokeswoman said. "There was a pilot and one passenger onboard at the time of the crash."

The instructor and student pilot were doing touch and go training, according to Virginia State Police Sgt. Ricky Williams.

On the fourth touch and go, the pilot and student experienced engine trouble while looking for a safe place to land.

The pilot and flight instructor, 38-year-old Andrew M. Jones, of Richmond, Virginia, was flown to VCU Medical Center with life-threatening injuries. He succumbed to his injuries later Friday.

The student-pilot, a 67-year-old New Kent County man, was transported to a nearby hospital with minor injuries.

The NTSB and FAA, who are investigating the cause of the crash, spent hours Friday afternoon assessing the scene.

Victim remembered as 'very conscientious' pilot 

Ed Augustine said Jones was a pilot for Paramount Builders before he started a flight school in New Kent County.

Augustine remembered the 38-year-old as a very careful and conscientious pilot.

"I flew with him a hundred times," Augustine said. "My friends and family were amazed at how careful he was."

Neighbor heard big bang 

Robert Stroube, who lives on Liberty Hill Road, said he heard something heard what he thought was a truck hitting potholes.

"And then I heard a bigger bang," Stroube said.

Stroube's daughter, who was working outside, ran into the house to tell him the plane had crashed.

“We ran out there and we saw the plane at the corner of our horse field down there in the middle of the road,” Stroube said.

Strobe spotted the aircraft across the dirt road.

“One of the people in the plane was walking around,” he said. “The other had been hurt in the plane. He was pinned in.”

The pilot struck Stroube's wooden fence before it hit the ground.

“My driveway goes between those two fences there and it took out both of those," he said. "And then, you could see it crossed my horse field where the wheels hit… and took out about 125 feet.”

He said the plane came was just 300 feet from crashing into his home.