The Seventh District VFD in Avenue, Maryland, responded to the crash site in a cornfield near Bayside Road and reported that all aircraft occupants were out of the plane when the fire department arrived. They provided this photo of the scene.

A plane that crashed upside down in a cornfield off of Bayside Road near Clements has been identified as belonging to a tour company that provides sightseeing tours of the St. Mary’s County area. A seaplane like the one that crashed is often seen taking off and landing on Breton Bay and the Potomac River. Fire and EMS reported that fuel stored in a wing tank is expected to leak when the plane is turned over, and St. Mary’s fire companies at the scene were preparing for a hazmat cleanup. The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will be responsible for identifying the cause of the crash. Mechanicsville VFD reports that all plane occupants are out of the aircraft.


Southern Maryland Seaplanes offers rides to customers and also sells gift certificates, according to their website. A veteran Navy F/A 18 carrier pilot is the service’s founder, which advertised he has “flown over 4,500 hours of 4,500 mishap-free flight hours in over 130 different types of aircraft.” 

The tour service will arrange to pick up passengers at waterfront properties if the shoreline is suitable and also operates tours from Leonardtown Wharf.

About five hours after the crash, the Maryland State Police issued a press release identifying the pilot and the passenger.

The pilot is identified as Anthony Copozzi, 63, of Venice, Florida.  The passenger is identified as Charles O’Brien IV, 35, of Leonardtown, MD.   Neither the pilot nor the passenger reported any injuries. 

The plane involved is a Cessna 185 equipped with pontoons.  Shortly after 5:30 p.m. today, Maryland State Police at the Leonardtown Barrack were dispatched to the report of a plane crash at a field off of Bayside Road near Montpelier Road in Clements, Maryland.  Arriving troopers found the plane resting on its roof in a cornfield. No one on the ground was injured. 

The preliminary investigation indicates the pilot reported he was forced to perform an emergency landing after the aircraft suffered engine failure and stalled.

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