SOUTH FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – One person was killed in a plane crash at the Washington County Airport Tuesday afternoon.
According to emergency dispatchers, the one-seater plane crashed at the end of a runway 27 around 2:10 p.m.
The victim is identified as 52-year-old Igor Novodran of Upper St. Clair. He was pronounced dead at 3:35 p.m. while at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital.
It was a picture perfect afternoon with clear skies and a light breeze, and the pilot of an Avid Bandit was practicing his landings and takeoffs, which are known as touch-and-goes.
“I saw him do at least two, and then I wasn’t really paying attention,” said Scott Gray, the manager of the Washington County Airport. “And then shortly thereafter, we heard that there was an aircraft down and then we came out here and found the wreckage where it was.”
KDKA’s John Shumway: “So, this would have been on the approach end of the runway?
Gray: “He was operating on runway 27; so based on where he is at, he was turning back towards the runway.”
One witness at the airport said that the pilot appeared to do a go-around, aborting the last landing and then turned to come back around for another try.
That’s when the plane pitched down into the ground.
“I saw him flying around all the time. I live a couple hundred yards away from here. Simple routes to touch-and-goes, drops,” Paul Howard, a neighbor. “Recognize the orange color plane, real common to see him around here a couple times a week.”
First responders arrived quickly and removed the pilot from the plane. They worked on him for quite a while at the scene before putting him in a medical helicopter and flying him to a Pittsburgh hospital.
The aircraft was registered in Upper St. Clair.
There’s no word yet on what caused the plane to crash.
The FAA is taking over the investigation.