Small plane crashes near Maryland airport, killing six

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Embraer Phenom 100, similar to the accident aircraft.

Image: WPPilot

A small jet has crashed in Gaithersburg, Maryland near Montgomery County Airpark yesterday at about 10:45 a.m. local time (1545 UTC), causing a house fire. Officials said six people were killed in the accident — three in the plane and three on the ground.

Montgomery County's fire chief said all three people aboard the plane were killed in the crash. According to reports, the plane broke apart. In all, a total of three houses were damaged, according to the fire chief. There were some residents in the damaged house who were not accounted for until about 4:30 p.m. when emergency personnel confirmed that three people inside the house were also killed. Witnesses to the accident reported seeing the plane wobble a couple hundred feet above the ground and do a barrel roll.

The plane, identified as an Embraer EMB-500/Phenom 100, was apparently on approach to Montgomery County Airpark when it crashed. According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the plane was in line with runway 14 at the airport. It was registered to an aviation company owned by one the victims, Michael Rosenberg — Sage Aviation LLC based out of Chapel Hill, North Carolina — according to authorities.

Among those killed in were Rosenberg, president and CEO of clinical research firm Health Decisions; 36-year-old Marie Gemmell; and her two sons, Cole and Devon. Rosenberg has been identified as the pilot in a different crash in March 2010, but the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are still investigating the cause of yesterday's incident.