Power line crash

What well-executed and truly unique rescue mission by Montgomery County’s First Responders!

When a small aircraft crashed into a power line tower in Gaithersburg, Maryland yesterday, hanging dangerously 100 feet off the ground, 120,000 residents in the area had to be shut off from the grid until technical rescue units could free the entangled plane’s two occupants. Both were transported to a local trauma center for treatment of serious injuries, but the two were expected to survive. The two were rescued roughly seven hours later. 

Maryland State Police identified the occupants of the plane as pilot Patrick Merkle, 65, of Washington, D.C., and passenger Jan Williams, 66, of Louisiana. 

Using cranes, the crashed airplane was subsequently disentangled and lowered to the ground before the power grid went back online.

It was a single-engine Mooney M20J on approach to the Montgomery County Airpark.

Images: © IAFF Local 1664 Montgomery County Fire Fighters

Plane crash