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Sat, May 15, 2004

MU-2 Check Hauler Crashes Near BWI

Pilot killed but no injuries at residential crash site

The Baltimore Sun is reporting that a cargo Mitsubishi MU-2 crashed in a residential neighborhood next to Baltimore-Washington International Airport on Friday morning. The pilot was killed, but there were no injuries on the ground.

The aircraft was on approach to BWI at 7:25 AM when it flew into the treetops near the airport. Its wings were sheared off, and then crashed into the driveway of a home, scattering debris around the Ferndale neighborhood and igniting at least one fire, which was quickly put out by the local fire department.

"It is a miracle that others on the ground were not hurt," said Maryland State Police Maj. Greg Shipley. The pilot was identified as Thomas Lennon, 34. There were no other crew or pax on the aircraft.

The aircraft was operated by Epps Air Service Inc. of Atlanta, which flies checks for banks in the Northeast. "We are deeply saddened to learn of the crash in Baltimore, Maryland this morning," the company said in a statement. "This is the first pilot we've lost in these twenty-plus years we've been running this part of the business."

NTSB and FAA investigators reached the site a few hours after the accident to begin the complex job of determining the probable cause(s) of the crash.

According to the Baltimore Sun, Barry Lear Jr., of Jernigan and Trott Concrete Pumping, witnessed the accident. "The wings were straight up and down, and then it hit a tree in the back yard. After it hit the tree, it became a ball of fire. Pieces flew across the street. There was a crashing and grinding noise as the propeller hit the tree," he said.

FMI: www.baltimoresun.com

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