The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

October 9, 2013

Government shutdown impacts local airplane crash investigation

By Marcia Moore
The Daily Item

— SELINSGROVE — The wrecked single-engine airplane that crashed at Penn Valley Airport in Selinsgrove Friday afternoon remains under lock and key until the federal government shutdown ends.

Furloughed National Transportation and Safety Board investigators responsible for investigating the crash that injured pilot Dough Cromley, of Lewisburg, and his uncle and passenger, Todd Cromley, of Winfield, won’t be available to look into the cause of the accident until the shutdown is lifted, said William Banks, manager at the Harrisburg Flight Standards Office of the Federal Aviation Administration.

The federal government shutdown is in its ninth day today.

Airport manager Jim Taylor said the aircraft, a 1953 Piper Pacer, will remain in a locked hangar until the investigators arrive.

“They’ve secured the wreckage,” Banks said. “That’s all we can do right now. We’ll be at it immediately” once the investigators are called back to work.  

The crash happened at 2:15 p.m. Friday as Doug Cromley was heading south during takeoff on the 4,700 foot runway. A motorist traveling on a nearby road saw the wrecked plane and called 911.

Doug Cromley remained in serious condition Tuesday at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville and Todd Cromley was in fair condition, according to a hospital spokesman.