MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (DC News Now) — The small airplane that, along with its pilot and passenger, hung 100 feet above the ground for hours Sunday, stuck where it hit power lines, was on the ground Monday.
The Mooney M20J single-engine aircraft was on its way to Montgomery County Airpark in Gaithersburg, Md. from Westchester County Airport in White Plains, N.Y. when the plane hit the lines around 5:30 p.m. on Sunday. The pilot, Patrick Merkle, 65, of Washington D.C. and his passenger, Jan Williams, 66, of Louisiana, were trapped inside it.
After crews ensured that there were no live wires and that the plane was secured, rescuers got Merkle and Williams out of the plane, one at 12:25 a.m. Monday, the other at 12:36 a.m.
The plane, itself, was removed from the lines Monday, and brought down to the ground.
The crash knocked out power to tens of thousands of people. Pepco said that was because the transmission tower where the lines were located feeds power to substations throughout Montgomery County. At the outages peak, Pepco had approximately 120,000 customers without power. The company was able to get the majority of power restored to people by the early hours of the day Monday.
Crews were at the crash site making repairs to lines and tower. A component of that work involved the use of a helicopter as someone was suspended from it, moving from point to point.