Police investigate suicide as possible factor in Va. plane crash

WASHINGTON – Virginia State Police have identified the pilot who died in a single-engine plane crash Monday and say they are investigating suicide as a possible factor in the incident.

Edwin G. Hassel, 22, of Fredericksburg, Va., was the only occupant of the Cessna 172M when it crashed at Shannon Airport in Spotsylvania County at about 6:30 p.m.

Police say the plane was flying near the airport when it rapidly descended and crashed.

The plane caught fire from the impact, police say.

Both the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board have been notified of the crash, which remains under investigation.

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