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Small plane 'barely missed' trees, crash landed near Hanover airport, witness says

Kyra Herring: 'Driving up the road, I saw the plane coming past the trees, and I told [my mom] to stop because it was not gonna make it'
Hanover Small Plane Crash
Posted at 5:36 PM, Oct 21, 2023

HANOVER COUNTY, Va. -- A small plane crash landed in a field and came to a stop in the yard of a home near the Hanover County Municipal Airport Saturday afternoon, according to officials.

State troopers were called to a "minor plane crash" in the 9500 block of Sliding Hill Road at 1:40 p.m., according to Virginia State Police Public Relations Director Corinne Geller.

An instructor pilot, a student pilot and two additional passengers were onboard a Cessna returning to the airport when the pilot realized the plane was not going to make it to the airstrip, Geller said.

FULL INTERVIEW: Kids saw plane 'was not going to make it'

FULL INTERVIEW: Kids saw plane 'was not going to make it'

Kyra Herring was headed home from a soccer game with her brother, Mason, and their mother when they spotted the plane.

"We were driving up the driveway... and I told my mom to stop because I saw the plane was not going to make it," Herring recalled.

Geller said the pilot managed to land the plane in a field near the airport, but that the Cessna's wings hit several pine trees during the descent.

"The plane just barely missed the top trees, like the very taller ones, and started going down into the neighbor's yard," Herring said.

Crash Landing Hanover County Airport

The girl said the plane hit one of the pine trees and "then started rolling, but landed upright."

The plane the nearly hit a well near a couple's home before it finally stopped, Herring recalled.

While her mom was calling 911, Herring ran to the scene.

"I made it there before they got out and asked them if they were OK," she said. "And a bunch of jet fuel started pouring out, so I backed up just in case any fire happened or anything."

Crash Landing Hanover County Airport

Herring said four people made it out of the plane safely.

"No one was hurt, except for a couple scrapes on the hand," Herring said.

Geller said no one was injured in the incident.

Capt. Caleb Wilson with Hanover County Fire-EMS said "all the hazards have been controlled" and that his department is working with airport leadership on "hazard mitigation" and getting the plane back to the airport.

It is unclear why the plane was unable to make it to the runway.

"We do not know how or why," Wilson explained. "Ultimately, the Virginia State Police and the FAA will determine that."

Both the NTSB and FAA were notified and are investigating the incident.

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