Pilot dies after plane crashes in Shenandoah National Park

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Shenandoah NP entrance

~ PVN staff report — UPDATED 12:25 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 3

SPERRYVILLE — A Piper PA-20 crash landed into trees less than a mile below Skyline Drive near Buck Hollow Trail in Shenandoah National Park on Wednesday around 11 a.m.

The pilot of the single-engine plane was the only passenger, and he died at the scene in Rappahannock County, not far from Route 211.

When asked yesterday afternoon about the crash, park spokesperson Sally Hurlbert stated, “We are currently investigating the scene and will be sending out a press release and updating our social media as soon as we can gather all the facts.”

Both the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board have sent out statements about the crash, but they have provided few other details, including the identity of the pilot.

More information is expected to be released later today after park officials and investigators have notified the next of kin.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

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UPDATED – Sally Hurlbert, spokesperson for SNP issued the following statement at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 3:

“On September 2, 2020 at 11:14 a.m., the Shenandoah National Park Communications Center received a report that the wreckage of a plane crash had been found approximately 0.75 mile down the Buck Hollow Trail from Skyline Drive in the Central District of Shenandoah National Park. The body of an adult male was found in the wreckage. The plane that crashed was a Piper PA-20 airplane.
 
The Buck Hollow Trail (including the parking areas on Highway 211 and the Meadow Springs parking area on Skyline Drive at mile 33.5) and the Buck Ridge Trail are closed until further notice while an investigation takes place and the wreckage is removed from the scene.
 
The Virginia State Police, the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are assisting with the incident. No further information is available at this time.”

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