A Brink's courier plane carrying stocks, bonds and precious metals from Richmond to National Airport crashed in a wooded area at Fort Belvoir yesterday after apparently running out of gas, Fort Belvoir and national transportation officials reported.
The pilot and a Brink's employe, both from New York, were injured when the twin-engine Piper Navajo, carrying 19 bags of checks, stocks and bonds and four boxes of precious metals, crashed at 2:54 a.m. while attempting an emergency landing at Fort Belvoir's Davison Army Airfield.
The men were taken by Army helicopter to Washington Hospital Center. Pilot Marshall Hicks, 39, was listed in fair condition and Brink's employe John Sciales, 48, was listed in serious condition.
The cause of the crash is being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board. Spokesman Robert Buckhorn said the pilot was preparing to land at National Airport when, at 2:51 a.m., he declared an emergency, saying he was running out of fuel.
The plane was then rerouted to Fort Belvoir, 11 miles southwest of Washington, where it was cleared for landing. The runway lights were turned on and the plan lined up with the runway, but it crashed just short of the runway, Buckhorn said.
"The pilot was able to get out of the aircraft on his own and tried to help the passenger," Buckhorn said. The plane was badly damaged, he said.
A spokesman for Brink's, the nation's largest armored truck company, declined to disclose the value of the cargo.