No golfers or passengers were seriously injured when a small airplane crash-landed during a busy day at the Herndon Centennial golf course last Sunday.
Shortly after noon, pilot Clifford Butler and four passengers, headed for Dulles International from Gaithersburg Airport, were forced down because of a mechanical problem.
The plane landed near the 11th tee, but no one was playing that hole.
"The pilot was originally going to land on the 13th fairway," said Herndon pro shop assistant Jack Woodell. "But there were two foursomes playing that hole.
"So he opted to come between two clumps of trees, ripped part of a wing off and landed about 20, 30 yards from the 11th tee. You bet it was fortunate that no one was playing the 11th hole."
The back nine was closed soon after Virginia State Police arrived. Butler, of Derwood, Md., and Bradley Wimsatt, 3, of Laytonsville, were treated and released at a Reston hospital.
Butler returned to the course Monday to survey the damage to his plane. The engine was a total loss and the plane had to be sawed to extricate it from between trees. Butler completed his visit by hitting a bucket of practice balls at Herndon's driving range.
"He said he'd drop in again sometime," Woodell said, "But not the same way."
People in the News
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