ESSEX COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A small, private aircraft nosedived into a swampy, wooded area in Essex County early Monday morning, sending first responders from multiple jurisdictions to assist. The pilot, identified as 25-year-old William D. Boswell IV from Chesterfield, is expected to survive following Tuesday morning surgery.
Boswell reported smoke to air traffic control and deployed his parachute before aircraft went down nose first, according to a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) representative. It’s still not clear where the smoke was coming from, the rep said, as Boswell never mentioned it and unable to at this time.
Flight logs on Flightaware.com show he was in the air for less than 20 minutes before the plane nosedived near the Tappahannock Airport. State Police told 8News they received a distress call from a pilot 40 minutes later.
Flight logs show the unidentified pilot leaving from Richmond International Airport around 3:30 a.m. Monday. According to authorities, the pilot was en route to Easton, Maryland. The NTSB confirmed this to 8News on Tuesday.
The crash “posed additional challenges to rescue crews trying to safely reach the aircraft,” VSP said in a release.
About the rescue efforts, Rob Rowley with Henrico Fire said Monday “our tech rescue team today helped augment and support the first responders already on scene from (Tappahannock-Essex) fire and rescue and provide them with equipment and techniques to gain access to the patient.… and then get the patient out of the aircraft and then transport them across some pretty difficult terrain.”
An investigation into the crash is ongoing.