BOONES MILL – The Virginia State Police says the emergency landing of a small airplane in Boones Mill on Apple Road in Franklin County resulted in a damaged Virginia State Police cruiser Monday night.
In a photograph, the rear windshield of the state police car is seen shattered to pieces.
According to officials, the pilot of the aircraft was practicing a “dry” takeoff test to see if the plane could get to the speed needed for lift. The weather was perfectly clear Monday, according to nearby observations as the test run began at 11:19 a.m. Monday.
According to Wikipedia, “A dry run (or a practice run) is a testing process where the effects of a possible failure are intentionally mitigated.” Fuel was the issue for the dry run, according to the release. The issue was corrected on the test flight.
As the test run was ending, the pilot tried slowing down the plane. Gravel on the road caused the plane to continue moving, striking the police car with it’s left wing, officials said Tuesday. The plane appeared to be mostly undamaged from the collision in a photograph, though the front of it appeared to have stopped at or near a wire fence in a nearby pasture.
The collision happened at 7:16 p.m. Monday, state police said in an e-mail to the press. The pilot stayed with the plane through the night. Darkness prevented the pilot from taking of again after issues were corrected, officials say.
There was no one in the state police car when it was hit. The pilot was not injured.
The FAA says they will not be investigating, calling the collision an incident.
Apple Valley Road is in a rural part of northern Franklin County near the base of Cahas Mountain. Many know the road for weddings. The Sundara Wedding Venue is located off of the 400 block of the road. No word if there was a ceremony at the venue at the time of the incident, or if the plane was part of a wedding party’s plans.
Stay with Cable 12 for any further updates.