Homeless man is held after stolen plane crashes in Frederick

By Martin Weil
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A stolen airplane ran off an airport runway and crashed in Frederick on Monday, city police said. Officers said a homeless man who was apparently trying to get out of town was arrested and charged.

The single-engine Piper Super Cub was being operated on the runway at Frederick Municipal Airport about 2 a.m. when it went out of control and ended up in grass, police said. Calvin C. Cox, 51, was taken into custody in woods near the airport and charged with theft, burglary and trespassing, police said.

Although officers were not certain of a motive, they said they thought "his intention was to leave the Frederick area." They said he was familiar with airplanes and their operation.

The airplane was taken from a hangar on airport property, police said. It belongs to the Mid-Atlantic Soaring Association and is used to tow gliders, said the group's president, Michael H. Higgins. Starting it required manipulation of switches and buttons, difficult for someone unfamiliar with the procedure, he said.

"It's a very unusual situation," he said.

No injuries were reported. Higgins said the plane had propeller and possible engine damage.

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