Pilot injured in Essex County plane crash expected to survive

Published: Aug. 20, 2019 at 2:56 PM EDT
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ESSEX CO., Va. (WWBT) - A pilot who seriously injured in a plane crash Monday morning in Essex County is expected to survive, officials said Tuesday.

State police received an alert of a distressed call from a pilot just before 4:30 a.m. Search efforts begin immediately to locate a crashed plane.

The small, private aircraft was found in a swampy area near the Tappahannock-Essex County Airport at about 6:13 a.m. Police said the plane crashed nose-down in a heavily wooded ravine. The terrain hampered rescue workers from getting to the pilot.

At 9:30 a.m., he was airlifted to VCU Medical Center for treatment of serious injuries.

The pilot was the only occupant of the vehicle and has been identified as William D. Boswell IV, 25, of North Chesterfield. A flight plan indicates the plane was flying from Richmond to Easton, Md.

Multiple firefighters were exposed to chemicals while responded to the crash. Fire crews from Henrico, Essex and King and Queen County all participated in search efforts to locate the plane.

Henrico County Fire’s Technical Rescue Team was called to help in this crash. The team specializes in incidents involving machines of various types.

“They bring with them a lot of specialized equipment in cutting, breaking, things that can cut into metal, concrete all sorts of things, but what they especially bring with them is personnel who’ve received extensive training in technical rescue,” said Capt. Rob Rowley, Henrico County Fire PIO.

The NTSB said Tuesday that the pilot reported electrical smoke in the cockpit prior to crashing. He pulled the parachute prior to the crash.

“The investigator is awaiting salvage equipment so the plane can be recovered and transported to a secure location for further examination,” the NTSB said.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

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