Plane crash injures two

Published 10:58 pm Monday, December 21, 2009

Two people suffered minor injuries Monday afternoon when the two-seater airplane they were flying crashed into the Great Dismal Swamp.

Pilot Eric Musial, 37, of Virginia Beach, and an unidentified flight instructor were flown by helicopter to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital with injuries that were not thought to be life threatening, according to Sgt. Michelle Cotten, a spokeswoman for the Virginia State Police.

Musial, a licensed pilot, was practicing slow flight in a low-wing Sports Cruiser when the airplane stalled and went into a slow spin, Cotten said. The flight instructor was able to correct the spin, but the airplane was too low and hit the trees, sending it into the swamp, she added.

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Police were called at about 1:26 p.m.

The flight had originated at Hampton Roads Executive Airport. Cotten said investigators do not know whether there was a mechanical failure that caused the airplane to stall. The Federal Aviation Administration has joined the State Police investigation, she said.

The airplane is still in the swamp. “There was no way to get to the plane,” Cotten said.