Two Stranded, Hundreds Without Power Following Maryland Plane Crash Into Power Lines

It took seven hours for a rescue crew to get a pilot and a passenger down from the tower.

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A small single-engine plane smashed into a electrical transmission tower
Planes definitely don’t belong up there.
Photo: Pete Piringer / Montgomery County Fire and Rescue

The Thanksgiving holiday weekend ended dramatically for those who live just north of Washington, D.C. A small single-engine plane crashed into an electrical transmission tower in Montgomery County, Maryland. The plane’s occupants were stuck for hours and hundreds were left without power, as well as other issues caused by the absurd power outage.

According to the Maryland State Police, a 66-year-old man from Washington, D.C. crashed a Mooney M20P in a transmission tower about four miles northwest of the Montgomery County Airpark in Maryland. The other passenger, was a 66-year-old woman. Unbelievable photos shared on social media by Pete Piringer, a public information officer for Montgomery County Fire and Rescue, show the small plane precariously perched on the tower.

NPR reported that the crash happened around 5:30 p.m. yesterday. The pilot and the passenger weren’t brought down from the tower until around 1:00 a.m. this morning, after which they were transported to Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland. The pair were stranded in the crashed plane for over seven hours.


The crash itself was only one-half. The rescue operations necessitated that the electricity going through the line be shut off to stabilize the Mooney and ensure that it didn’t fall to the ground, then retrieve the stranded occupants. Pepco, the local utility company, announced that over 300 customers were left without power. The power disruptions also led Montgomery County Public Schools to close the district’s schools. The crash even impacted service on the Washington Metro’s Red Line in Montgomery County.


An investigation led by National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration is now underway to determine why the crash happened. Many on the scene speculate that the fog, which also hampered the rescue, was a significant factor in the crash.