While thousands of shirt-sleeved Washington residents streamed outdoors yesterday to bask in the warmth and wonder of 70-degree temperatures in late November, at least three persons with Washington-area connections were enjoying special kinds of good fortune on the day after Thanksgiving.
A Falls Church man and his wife and stepson survived the crash landing of their light plane in a field in the western part of Fairfax County.
And in Atlantic City, N.J., where he had gone to spend part of the holiday weekend, a 23-year-old dental student from Northwest Washington played a slot machine and hit a $50,000 jackpot.
According to United Press International, a spokesman for Caesars Boardwalk Regency Hotel Casino said that Robert Tigani hit the jackpot after spending about $20 and ten minutes on what is known as a progressive slot machine at the casino.
The spokesman quoted Tigani as describing himself as very happy and as saying that it was a "great way to spend Thanksgiving."
Gardner R. Brown, 54, was flying a single-engine private plane from Massachusetts to the Manassas Airport last night when the plane made a crash landing at about 7:35 p.m. in a field near woods in the 13000 block of Thompson Road, near Dulles Airport,Fairfax County police said.
As the plane came down, its left wing struck several sections of rail fence and tore loose from the fuselage. The passenger compartment was left intact.
Brown and his stepson, Thomas A. Gillice, 17, were taken to Commonwealth Doctors Hospital, where they were treated for bruises and released. Brown's wife, Sondra, 35, was being treated at the hospital last night for back injuries.
The incident was reported under investigation by police and the Federal Aviation Administration.
Meanwhile, Washingtonians everywhere enjoyed the luck of a day on which the mercury reached a spring-like 71 degrees, four degrees short of the record for the date.
National Weather Service forecaster Jeffrey Bowman gave credit for the balmy day to the working of a Bermuda High, the atmospheric phenomenon that is best known for bringing hot and sticky days in summer.
Today's temperatures are expected to be cooler, with highs in the 50s.