Pilot dies in crash of small plane in rural Virginia

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The pilot of a small plane died in a crash in rural Virginia west of Washington, D.C., on Sunday, police said.

Benjamin J. Hummel, 33, of Woodbridge, Virginia, died at the crash site in Catlett, 45 miles west of Washington, Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said.

Witnesses said the fixed-wing Titan Tornado II appeared to be experiencing engine trouble before it crashed at about 12:30 p.m., Geller said.

“Thanks to local residents providing witness accounts and four-wheel drive vehicles, emergency responders were able to successfully locate and access the remote crash site quickly,” she said in a statement.

State police, Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office and Catlett’s Volunteer Fire and Rescue Squad went to the site. The Federal Aviation Administration is on the scene and the National Transportation Safety Board has been notified, she said.

State police are still in the process of notifying the pilot’s next of kin, and the cause of the crash is being investigated.

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