BUCKINGHAM TWP., Pa. | A 79-year-old man is dead after a small plane crashed near Doylestown, Bucks County.
Martin W. Sailer Jr., of Upper Black Eddy, died in the crash, according to the county coroner. An autopsy has not yet been scheduled.
Sailer was a retired Navy Commander and TWA pilot.
The crash happened Tuesday morning, shortly before 11 a.m., in the 3800 block of Charter Club Drive. Buckingham Township police and fire personnel found a small single engine aircraft had crashed into the wooded area.
Sailer was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.
Authorities said he had put in a mayday call before the crash.
"I feel terrible for him. We have a number of pilots as I mentioned that live in this area and we've been accustomed to the airport for a long time," said neighbor Juan Navia.
Several neighbors we spoke with say it wasn't a very loud crash. And since they live less than a mile from the Doylestown Airport, the sound of a passing plane isn't out of the ordinary.
Navia says his neighbors fly from there all the time. Even he has.
"These are good gliders. I've been up on these things and I know how stable they can be," Navia said.
He says he never feared something like this would happen, but can see why a pilot may have aimed for the area.
"This field as you could see is a big green area so if you have a small plane, if you can get to it, it's not a bad place to do an emergency landing," Navia said.
No structures or homes were damaged, according to a news release from township police.
It's unclear whether that was the pilot's destination, but flightaware.com noted stops by the plane in Pittstown and Mount Holly, New Jersey.
The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the crash.