A small two-engine private plane crashed into Virginia's Lake Anna late Friday night, killing a Leesburg man and injuring his two companions, after the plane apparently ran out of gas and was attempting to land at the unlit rural airstrip beside the lake, according to the state police.
The body of John N. Campbell, a 36-year-old Leesburg businessman, was recovered from the plane by state police divers late yesterday.
Henry Meyer, 40, the pilot of the plane, a six-seater Piper Aerospace, and the other passenger, Frank C. Stanbrook, 51, both of Cleveland, Ohio, were treated for minor injuries at the University of Virginia Hospital in Charlottesville.
The crash occurred shortly before 10 p.m. as the plane was approaching Dulles, returning from a business trip to West Palm Beach, Fla. The pilot called the Dulles control tower to report he was out of gas at 17,000 feet and his engine were dead, according to State Trooper P.T. Spencer, who investigated crash.
The trooper said he feared from the pilit and Stanbrook that when the plane's two wing tanks ran out of gas they switched to the reserve belly tank "but nothing happened."
Dulles tried to raise the "Rest-a-While Airport," a small "cow-pasture airport by the lake," said Trooper Spencer, "but couldn't get them in time."
The plane crashed in the lake's Elk Creek Cooling Lagoon near the airport, a shallow 18-foot deep section near the new North Anna nuclear power plant.
Trooper Spencer said the plane floated on the lake for several minutes before sinking. He said that Meyer and Stanbrook had unstrapped Campbell from a rear seat but were unable to get him out of the plane.
Meyer and Stanbrook were rescued by two youths fishing nearby in a boat and taken to shore, only about 200 feet away.
Campbell, a former Washington investment counselor, was co-owner of the Village Lanes bowling alley in Leesburg and an unsuccessful candidate for the Leesburg Town Council in two recent elections.
A Staunton Military Academy and University of Virginia graduate, he was treasure of Waterford's Presbyterian Church and active in the Leesburg community. He is survved by his wife, Patricia, two daughers, Erin, 4, and Heather 9, a son, Ryan, 1, and his mother, Jean Campbell of Watenford.