Plane Crashes Into Herndon, Va. Apartment

5:36 PM, May 31, 2013   |    comments
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Photo Gallery: Small Plane Crashes Into Apartment Building In Va.

Video: Plane Crashes Into Apartment Building In Va.

Video: Residents Survive After Plane Crashes Into Apartment

Video: RAW VIDEO: Plane Lifted Out Of Building

  • Cessna 177B crashed into an apartment building in Herndon on May 31 (WUSA9)
  • Plane being removed from roof of house

HERNDON, Va. (WUSA9) -- A pilot and a resident were taken to the hospital after a small plane nosedived into an apartment in Herndon on Friday morning.

It happened in the 2200 block of Astoria Circle in Herndon at approximately 12:17 a.m., according to Virginia State police.

Sarah Maydwell was on her balcony after midnight when she saw the plane go down.

Sarah Maydwell, witnessed plane go down "He was about to hit a little bit lower went down then up then it just went boom."

David Ventura, Plane landed in his living room"God love you that's why we are here. We can talk. That's an experience you can't forget for life."

The NTSB, National Transportation Safety Board is the lead in the investigation and they have 10 business days to release a preliminary report as to what happened to cause the plane to go down and provide safety recommendations. The FAA is also helping in the investigation.

When you look at the apartment building you see the tail of a plane sticking out from the top floor. The plane crashed just a few feet away from the apartment building's gas line.

The pilot of the plane was headed from Philadelphia to Manassas Regional Airport and we're hearing his plane, a Cessna 177B, was low on fuel at approximately 12 a.m.

The pilot and passenger, we're told, walked out of the plane after they crashed into the living room. They called 911 and spoke to residents who rushed out of their bedrooms to witness the unbelievable. Virginia State Police say four adults and two children were asleep in the apartment.

The residents say their bedrooms were completely intact. So the pictures remained on the wall and they didn't see any damage to the house until they opened their bedroom doors and saw a plane inside their living room.

We spoke to some of the residents early Friday morning. One resident named David Ventura told us about his wife's reaction:

"She went from her room to the living room and she saw the plane inside the living room and she was really nervous. She was screaming and everything and -- one of the guys that was driving the plane told her to call 911. But she was so nervous that she -- she said that she got her cell phone and she was trying to dial 911 and she couldn't because she was in shock."

Ventura lives on the third floor with his wife and his two small children, ages 2 and 6. He says no one was hurt and the kids even slept through the incident. His wife was obviously shaken up. She was transported to Inova Fairfax Hospital for non-life threatening injuries according to Virginia State Police.

Virginia State Police say the pilot, 61-year-old William Larson of Vienna, Va., was transported to Inova Fairfax Hospital for treatment of serious, but non-life threatening injuries. The plane's passenger, Tache L. Alejandro of Orlando, Fla., suffered only minor injuries and was treated at the scene, according to police.

Many of the people at the apartment complex are saying they are blessed. Some folks are saying they should even play the lottery because they are very lucky.

The Red Cross is at the scene. They are assisting four families, 11 children and 11 adults.  

Crews started moving cars out of the parking lot to prepare for removing the plane. A crane was put into place to remove plane, which was done at approximately 7:13 a.m. The plane was then loaded onto a flatbed truck at 7:23 a.m. The truck drove away at approximately 8 a.m.

Officials say the building had significant exterior damage so residents were evacuated by state police after then incident but the building appears to be structurally sound.

According to Virginia State Police, the plane belonged to Aerial Photographers, LLC in Vienna, Va. Virginia State Police say Larson and Alejandro were taking infra-red photographs when the plane had electrical problems and the engine cut off. Police say the plane was also running low on fuel and Larson had contacted Dulles International Airport to re-route its destination. The plane was originally headed from Northeast Philadelphia Airport to Manassas Regional Airport.

The NTSB and FAA are on the scene investigating the incident.

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