Gaithersburg, MD Plane Crashes Into House, Dec 2014
SIX KILLED WHEN PLANE CRASHES INTO HOUSE IN GAITHERSBURG.
INVESTIGATION CONTINUES OF PLANE CRASH THAT LEFT SIX DEAD IN MARYLAND.
Gaithersburg, Md. - At a few minutes before 11 a.m., the day was well underway for a young mother, her infant son and his toddler brother when a twin-engine jet, on its final approach to a regional airport in Gaithersburg, crashed into their home.
The plane caromed into two homes before its wing tumbled into 19733 Drop Forge Lane, erupting into a fireball. The pilot, two passengers, the mother and two of her children were killed.
As people rushed from their houses,
MARIE GEMMELL, 36, had been in a desperate fight to save 3-year-old COLE and 6-week-old DEVIN. She rushed them into a windowless bathroom on the second floor.
"It appears the mother was trying to protect her children. It appears she was covering them to try to protect them," said Montgomery fire spokesman Pete Piringer.
"She tried to save these kids," Police Chief J. Thomas Manger said of the mother of three, who friends said was on maternity leave from her job at a bank.
"She had nowhere to go," he added.
"She couldn't get out of the bathroom. One kid was between her legs, and the other was in her arms."
Within seconds of the crash, another pilot looked down in horror. "There's nothing left of that house down there," he said.
The black Honda SUV parked snugly against the garage door indicated that there probably were people inside the house, and neighbors rushed around the outside, looking for an opening in the flames through which they might dart in.
The plane lay on the front lawn in pieces, as though "it just fell apart," Jocelyn Brown, 21, said.
"It's like somebody took the screws out," she said.
With a flight data recorder in hand, NTSB investigators should quickly determine what caused the crash, although their methodical process may not reveal the telling details for several months.
What would become tragedy on Drop Forge Lane began to unfold hours earlier, when a small jet plane - an Embraer EMB-500/Phenom 100 - set out from North Carolina to carry three members of the medical research firm Health Decisions to an important meeting with Food and Drug Administration officials in Montgomery County.
Killed on the jet were:
MICHAEL ROSENBERG, 66, the pilot.
DAVID HARTMAN, 52.
CHIJLOKE OGBUKA, 31.
Before MICHAEL ROSENBERG set out to fly to Maryland, he called his company's technology department to sort out a Web site issue.
"He sounded great," said an IT worker. "It was just standard tech support stuff. A minor issue, really."
He was a veteran pilot - he was certified to fly commercial planes and to teach novice pilots - but it was the second time that ROSENBERG had crashed while landing at the Montgomery County Airpark. In March 2010, he suffered minor injuries when he crashed a Socata TBM 700, a turbo-propeller plane. He was coming from North Carolina on that trip, too.