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Student Pilot Robert Camp, crash-lands Piper Comanche small plane at Charlottesville Albemarle Airport

Student pilot crash-lands small plane at Charlottesville airport

Two people escaped injury Saturday evening after the plane they were flying in, with a student pilot at the helm, crash-landed at the Charlottesville Albemarle Airport.
Airport spokesman Jason Burch said airport and Albemarle County emergency personnel were called to the scene at 4:58 p.m. for a crash involving a single-engine, general aviation airplane.

Despite an apparent malfunction of the landing gear, the blue and white 1961 Piper Comanche came to rest upright and intact, with no significant damage immediately visible from a distance.

In a news release, Virginia State Police identified the pilot as Robert Camp, a student pilot from Raleigh, N.C.
A spokeswoman with the state police said in the release that as the plane was coming in for a landing, "it made contact with the runway too hard," causing its landing gear to retract.
The plane then skidded to a stop on its “belly,” according to the release.
“Anytime you have any sort of alert at the airport, there’s a system in place, so we had several of the local stations here initially,” Burch said.
Melvin Bishop, Albemarle County assistant fire marshal, confirmed that county personnel and equipment responded, but they were released from the scene shortly after their arrival when the situation was declared under control. Albemarle police officers also responded.
“State troopers arrived, as well, and they will conduct an investigation,” Burch said at the airport Saturday. “It’s no different than a bus [crash] on the highway — they have to make sure there’s no foul play.”
The pilot and passenger were traveling from Winchester and had planned to land at the Charlottesville airport.
The incident delayed at least two departing flights, and an arriving flight was diverted to Lynchburg while officials investigated and cleared the runway.
Although the runway was reopened at 7:30 Saturday night, airport officials encouraged passengers to always check with their airline for the latest flight information.

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