PILOT HIT THE POWER – not the ball, but the lines, won’t win jackpot; nearly 100,000 without power in Montgomery County; rescued after spending hours stuck in hi-power transmission lines in a miracle rescue

Pilot Erred, When Landing Plane in Bad Weather, Crashed Into Power Lines at Montgomery Airpark; rescued after spending hours stuck in hi-power transmission lines in a miracle rescue.

Patrick-Merkle-pilot-and-attorney. Photo / Twitter

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service Chief Scott Goldstein said at 1 a.m. Monday, the pilot and passenger were rescued and taken to local trauma centers with serious injuries related to hypothermia, orthopedics, and trauma issues.


Our personnel remain on the scene in Montgomery County, working closely with

@mcfrs to support the complex efforts to rescue the individuals who remain inside the plane that crashed into our transmission wires earlier this evening.

Montgomery-Airpark-was-the-destination-for-DC-pilot-flying-in-from-White-Plains-New-York- Photo via Pete Piringer PIO MCFRS

November 27, 2022

(GAITHERSBURG, MD) – Maryland State Police are on the scene of a single-engine plane crash in Montgomery County, where rescue efforts are underway.

The plane involved is a Mooney Mike 20P single-engine plane.  The pilot is identified as Patrick Merkle, 65, of Washington, D.C. The passenger is identified as Jan Williams, 66, of Louisiana. Both the pilot and the passenger are reportedly unharmed inside the aircraft awaiting rescue.

Shortly before 6:00 p.m. today, Maryland State Police at the Rockville Barrack were dispatched to the report of a plane crash located about four miles northwest of the Montgomery County Airpark in the area of Goshen Road and Rothbury Drive.  Arriving troopers found the plane suspended in the air, entangled in a power line tower.

Maryland State Police from the College Park and Rockville Barracks are on the scene, along with emergency medical service personnel from Montgomery County. Personnel from the Potomac Electric Power Company are also on the scene.

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration also responded. They will conduct investigations into how and why the crash occurred. Further information about the crash will come from federal investigators.

The Federal Aviation Administration has an aircraft restriction in place while rescue efforts are active and ongoing. Rothbury Drive and Goshen Road remain closed.  Personnel from the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration are on the scene assisting with the road closures.

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