It was listed as a Level 3 crash.
“A Piper PA 31 aircraft crashed one mile east of University Park Airport in State College, PA at about 8:30 a.m. today,” said Jim Peters of the Federal Aviation Administration. “The aircraft departed from Washington County Airport in Washington, PA. Check with local authorities on the condition of the two people onboard. The FAA will investigate and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will determine the probable cause of the accident.”
It was the second time in just over a week that the University Park Airport has been the scene of a crash response. This time, it was in a wooded area of the 1400 block of Barns Lane.
Little official information was available as responders from three counties converged on the location. What was known was there was fire and smoke at the scene, around 8:20 a.m. on a very foggy morning.
“There is a plane that went down while approaching the airport at approximately 8:20 a.m,” said Penn State spokeswoman Heather Robbins.
According to Robbins, the airport’s tower personnel observed smoke coming from the plane as it approached the airport and could get no response from the craft when trying to make contact.
No information is available on the condition of those on board.
Robbins said that the airport was closed, but reopened at 10:30 a.m.
Robbins was giving similar information on June 8 when a two-seater 1989 Seela Gerald L Glasair SH-2F crash-landed on the runway, closing the airport for about two hours.
Centre County Fire Wire, a Facebook page run by volunteer firefighters “keeping the public informed of fire incidents in the county,” described this crash as “large aircraft down,” but that information was later corrected at the scene.
CCFW also said emergency person were “requesting more manpower to do a ground search for victims in the wooded area.”
The county has seen a number of crashes at University Park Airport, as well as Bellefonte, Mid-State and other locations. According to NTSB records, there have been 21 crashes in Centre County since 1984. Six were fatal.
Information continues to be updated.