Small Plane Strikes Tree in Md.

Saturday, Jul 16, 2011  |  Updated 12:30 PM EDT
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A plane crash has left one person dead in St. Mary's county.The glider went down in some trees earlier Friday afternoon.  Then, the rescue helicopter that came to help had to make an emergency landing of its own.  News4's Jane Watrel reports from St. Mary's County near the scene of the crash.

Jane Watrel

A plane crash has left one person dead in St. Mary's county.The glider went down in some trees earlier Friday afternoon. Then, the rescue helicopter that came to help had to make an emergency landing of its own. News4's Jane Watrel reports from St. Mary's County near the scene of the crash.

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Chopper Video: St. Mary's Plane Crash

A small aircraft crashed into the trees near the St. Mary's County airport in Hollywood, Md.
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A glider crash critically injured a pilot and killed a passenger in St. Mary's County.

The accident happened at St. Mary's Airport in Hollywood, Maryland around 4 p.m. Friday. 

Maryland police said an officer had observed a single-engine Cessna plane towing a glider near the airport.  Witnesses said at the time of the accident, both craft were flying low over the trees.  When the tow rope tethering the two craft released, the glider did not have enough lift to continue flying, and crashed into trees near the airport.

St. Mary's County Fire and Rescue used a ladder truck equipped with a bucket to reach the glider's wreckage hanging in the trees.  The pilot, who survived the crash, was pulled down from the craft and flown by helicopter to Prince George's Hospital Center for treatment. 

While approaching the hospital, the emergency helicopter itself experienced mechanical difficulties and aborted its landing, flying instead to Andrews Air Force base.

National Transportation Safety Board investigators arrived on the scene Friday evening to find out the cause of the crash.

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