Saturday, January 12, 2013

15-Year-Old Steals and Crashes Plane at Freeway Airport

Piper Cherokee wreckage at Freeway Airport (Photo by Arnie Miles)
January 12, 1975 (38 years ago today):  A 15-year-old boy suffered a broken collar bone and bruises to his face after he stole an airplane from Freeway Airport and crashed during takeoff.  The boy had wandered away from St. Elizabeth's Hospital in D.C. the day before, where he was enrolled in a special program for deaf children.

Maryland State Police believe that the boy was homesick, and he was attempting to travel to New Jersey to reunite with his family.  He apparently walked more than twenty miles before coming across the airport while walking along Route 50.

Despite taking off into the wind, the boy was able to get the plane thirty feet into the air before it crashed 300 feet from the end of the runway.  He was able to escape the wreckage, and he walked to a nearby farmhouse for help.

The boy was charged with with grand larceny and breaking and entering.  The teenager had no prior record.

The single-engine Piper Cherokee was totaled in the crash.


Homesick Deaf Lad Steals Airplane; Crashes, But Survives
The Bowie Blade, January 16, 1975

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