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Federal agencies investigating Walker Twp. glider crash

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    The Schuylkill County Coroner's Office and New England Fire Co. were among the agencies who responded to a the crash of a small glider plane Friday night. CHRIS REBER/TIMES NEWS

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    State police, the New England Fire Company, and the coroner are on the scene of a plane crash Friday. COPYRIGHT LARRY NEFF/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS

Published October 20. 2019 08:57PM

The Ferderal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating Friday’s crash of a small motorized glider plane in Walker Township.

A Queens, New York, man was killed in the crash, which occurred a heavily wooded area of Wildcat Mountain in Walker Township.

Schuylkill County Coroner Dr. David Moylan said William D. Hanson, 65, was piloting a LAK-17 model motorized glider when it went down near Lewistown Valley Tabernacle. The flight originated in Blairstown, New Jersey.

The LAK-17 is a glider which is also sold with an optional electric motor or internal-combustion engine.

Moylan said the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are checking flight plans, weather details and medical clearances.

An FAA spokesman said the agency will investigate and the NTSB will determine the probable cause of the incident. An NTSB spokesman said invesgators visited the scene of the crash to collect data. The spokesman said a preliminary report on the crash should be released in the next two weeks.

Moylan said the call came in at 4 p.m. A passing motorist saw the plane go down and called 911.

Deputy coroner Albert “Bud” Barnes declared Hanson dead at 6:33 p.m. The glider plane was found in pieces after it apparently went down into a patch of bushes.

The cause of death was ruled blunt-force trauma and Moylan said Hanson was killed instantly. Toxicology tests will be conducted at a lab to be determined by the FAA.

Emergency responders used 4-wheel all-terrain vehicles to reach the wreckage, which was in pieces.

Barnes said the experimental aircraft was made of fiberglass and apparently “just kind of came apart” in the crash.

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