Man Dies When Aircraft Crashes in Lancaster County

Ultralight aircraft crash in Pa. probed

By David Chang
|  Sunday, Mar 31, 2013  |  Updated 10:41 AM EDT
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Man Dies in Glider Crash

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A man died Saturday in a small aircraft crash in Lancaster County.

Investigators say an ultralight glider went down around 5:45 p.m. on Saturday in the area of Old Philadelphia Pike and Airport Drive in East Lampeter Township.

Lancaster County emergency officials say the crash happened during takeoff at Smoketown Airport, a few miles east of Lancaster, Pa. The aircraft went down just 100 yards from the airstrip and crashed into an unoccupied mobile home that was being dismantled on the site of an auto repair garage.

The only person on board -- the pilot, Michael Blank, 30, of Gap, Pa. -- died.

Officer Nathan Westerman says investigators believe that the aircraft ascended too rapidly and stalled in midair, leading to the crash.

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According to the United States Ultralight Association, Ultralight aircrafts are not required to be registered with the Federal Aviation Administration and their operators are not required to have a pilot license.

The Federal Aviation Administration defers investigation of ultralight crashes to local law enforcement.

 


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