Pilot Miraculously Survives After Plane Crashes, Bursts Into Flames

The pilot of a plane that crashed in a field near Maryland's Easton Airport survived with non-life-threatening injuries.

The aircraft crashed and caught fire as it was preparing to land on Thursday, June 24, at about 11:15 a.m. local time, Washington, D.C.'s WUSA reported. It was being flown by a U.S. Naval Academy midshipman, the academy said in a statement.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Maryland State Police and local firefighters responded to the crash. Aerial footage of the scene captured by WUSA showed the body of the aircraft had been destroyed, while portions of the wings and the tail end of the plane remained.

Maryland State Police said in a statement: "The plane became fully engulfed in flames after the pilot was removed from the cockpit."

A spokesperson for the NTSB told Newsweek on June 30: "The pilot had reported a loss of engine power prior to the crash, which occurred about one mile north of the airport" and "there was a post-crash fire."

A detailed investigation is now underway, the authorities said.

The pilot was taken to Baltimore's R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center for evaluation and treatment following the crash, the U.S. Naval Academy said.

The midshipman, whose name is being withheld, was the only person aboard the aircraft and the only individual who sustained injuries in the incident.

The pilot, a member of the Naval Academy's Powered Flight Program, was flying a Trident Air single-engine aircraft. The solo flight was part of the PFP syllabus.

The academy said: "PFP's objectives are aligned with Naval Air Training Command's Naval Introductory Flight Evaluation program.

"To complete the program, midshipmen undergo weeks of intensive training, memorization and instructor-led flights, ultimately resulting in a solo flight if they qualify."

Newsweek contacted the Naval Academy and Maryland police for further comment.

Other Recent Plane Crashes

In late May, a pilot died when his fighter jet crashed shortly after departing a base in Nevada.

The Dassault Aviation Mirage F1 aircraft took off from Nellis Air Force Base near Las Vegas at around 2:30 p.m. local time and crashed near the southern edge of the base. The pilot was later named as Nicholas Hamilton, 43.

Also in May, Gwen Shamblin Lara, a Christian diet guru, was reported to be among seven people presumed dead after a small plane crashed into a lake in Tennessee.

The Federal Aviation Administration said at the time that the Cessna C501 crashed into Percy Priest Lake near Smyrna after taking off from an airport nearby at around 11 a.m.

All seven were members of the Remnant Fellowship Church, which grew out of Shamblin Lara's Christian diet program, The Weigh Down Workshop.

Update 6/30/21 11:30 a.m. ET: This article was updated to add a comment from the NTSB.

U.S. Navy planes flying over Maryland.
U.S. Naval Academy midshipmen cheering as the U.S. Navy's Blue Angels fly over the graduation ceremony in Annapolis, Maryland, in May 2018. A plane piloted by a USNA midshipmen was reported to have crashed Thursday morning in a field near Easton Airport in Maryland. Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images