Pilot Says Grace of God Saved Him in Plane Crash

Thursday, Aug 9, 2012  |  Updated 4:03 PM EDT
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Shomari Stone talks to the survivor about losing his friend and instructor.

Shomari Stone talks to the survivor about losing his friend and instructor.

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A pilot whose plane went down in Maryland last month told News4's Shomari Stone it was the grace of God that saved him from a brush with death.

The crash killed flight instructor Frank Schmidt, 79. Allen Rothenberg, 83, said the plane lost power right after takeoff from Davis Airport in northern Montgomery County.

Rothenberg was piloting to get a biannual re-certification. He said he regrets decisions he made seconds before the crash that killed his friend.

“It lifted off the runway but we didn’t have any power," he said. "I tried to turn to the right. Frank tried to grab the controls also, and we crashed. I don’t remember hitting anything else.”

The NTSB is investigating exactly what happened.

Rothenberg has more than 40 years of piloting experience and said he plans to fly again one day.

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