Small plane crashes in Prince George’s Co.; pilot identified

WASHINGTON — A small plane that took off from an airport in Fort Washington made a crash landing in some nearby woods Monday morning.

The small plane crashed around noon in some woods off Gallahan Road. The pilot was able to escape the plane, call 911 and stay on the line with dispatchers while emergency responders rushed to the scene, said Prince George’s County Fire & EMS spokesman Mark Brady.

The pilot and only passenger has been identified as Gary Kempen, 63, of Middletown, Rhode Island, the Maryland State Police said in a press release.

Shortly after the single-engine plane had taken off, it started experiencing engine trouble, state police said. Kempen had tried to return to the airfield but the plane lost power and started descending. He tried to land in an open field but ended up in a wooded area, hitting some trees and damaging the plane.

No one on the ground was injured, state police said.

It took a little extra time to find the pilot since he wasn’t sure where he had landed, but responders eventually found him walking through the woods, Brady said.

A state police helicopter took the pilot to a hospital.

WTOP’s Teta Alim contributed to this story. 

John Domen

John started working at WTOP in 2016 after having grown up in Maryland listening to the station as a child. While he got his on-air start at small stations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, he's spent most of his career in the D.C. area, having been heard on several local stations before coming to WTOP.

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