A Middletown man is being treated for injuries he sustained Monday when his fixed-wing single-engine Piper PA-32R-301 aircraft crashed soon after take off in Potomac, Maryland.
The pilot was identified as Gerry Kempen, 63, of Middletown, RI. Kempen was flown from the scene by Maryland State Police medevac to Prince George’s Hospital Center for injuries sustained from the crash. Kempen is believed to be the only passenger.
Kempen served as Middletown’s Town Manager from 2003 – 2007
Shortly after 11:30 a.m. Monday, troopers at the Maryland State Police Forestville Barrack were dispatched to a reported plane crash in the 11700-block of Gallahan Road, Fort Washington, MD. Fire and EMS personnel had also responded to the scene.
The preliminary investigation indicates Kempen left the Potomac Airfield, operating a blue and white Piper Aire single engine plane and ascended to approximately 1100 feet, when he began experiencing engine trouble. Kempen attempted to return to Potomac Airfield, but lost complete power and began descending. Kempen attempted to land the plane in an open field, but miscalculated his intended landing area. The plane landed and came to rest in a wooded area, striking several trees, causing extensive damage to the aircraft. No one was injured on the ground.
Federal authorities at the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will be handling the investigation.