Death toll in Virginia plane crash climbs to six

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 12, 2016 5:52 PM

By Frank McGurty

(Reuters) - Six people, including three teenagers, were killed on Friday when a small private plane plowed into a line of trees at the end of a runway after an aborted landing at an airport in northern Virginia, state police said on Saturday.

The twin-engine aircraft, identified as a 1969-model Beech 95-B55, crashed at the edge of Shannon Airport outside Fredericksburg, about 55 miles southwest of Washington, D.C.

The plane touched down halfway along the runway, pulled up and executed a maneuver known as a "go-round," but the engines appeared to stall as the pilot tried to turn and climb, Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said in a statement.

"The plane banked left, crashed in the trees and immediately caught fire," Geller said. She put the time of crash at 12:24 p.m. (1624 GMT).

The cause of the crash remains under investigation by the state police, the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration. Representatives of the NTSB and the FAA could not be reached on Saturday.

Six bodies were recovered from the wreckage including the remains of the pilot, William Hamerstadt, 64, of Carmel, Indiana, and the plane's owner, Robert D. Ross, 73, of Louisville, Kentucky.

The four other passengers were identified as Lisa Borenstein, 52; Luke Borenstein, 19; and Emma Borenstein, 15, all of Shelbyville, Indiana; and Maren Timmermann, 15, of Berlin, Germany.

The flight departed from Louisville on Friday morning en route to Shannon with an initial stop in Shelbyville, state police said.

(Reporting by Daniel Trotta; Editing by Paul Simao)