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Plane Crash 911 Tape Released

By: Autria Godfrey
By: Autria Godfrey

December 19, 2006

Dispatch: "911.."
Caller: "Yes a plane just crashed on Route 600 next to the Stony Point area…."

A flight bound for CHO Airport out of Chesterfield plummeted from the sky, over a week ago, as 51-year-old pilot Christopher Desch lost control.

Caller: "It came over when I got out of my car, very, very low and then all of a sudden I heard a boom and see black smoke everywhere."

Upon impact, the single engine plane erupted into flames, killing the pilot and because of the remote location, rescue attempts were hindered as crews struggled to get to the scene.

Dispatch: "So towards 29, this is on Watts Passage? Yes, it's not on Stony point pass, it's on watts passage?

Already in flight, UVa's Medical helicopter Pegasus witnesses the distressed plane.

Caller: "And I've seen the helicopter coming in and hovering, and it seems like it's landed also...but it's black smoke everywhere."

Within minutes the medi-vac descended onto the fiery site, searching for evidence of any survivors.

Dispatch: "So a red and blue helicopter just went down?"
Caller: "Yes, well it's landed to help the plane, the plane is what crashed."

A preliminary report from the FAA attributed engine failure as the cause for the crash, and based on the pilot's final words with control towers, he already knew that was the case.

"His last words to the tower were I'm not going to make it and he was right," Flight Nurse, Scott Single said.

Desch was the only one on board the plane. He was coming to CHO from Chesterfield where he was a member of the Wingnuts Flying Club.


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