Police ID victim of small plane crash in Middlesex County

Photo courtesy Virginia State Police

MIDDLESEX COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) — A Middlesex County pilot died Thursday after his plane crashed.

“I never thought I see nothing like that,” said witness Irene Keyser.

Keyser was in her backyard doing the same thing she does every day, feeding her chickens when she heard a strange noise overhead.

“I thought it was like a lawn mower and I was like, ‘who is cutting grass?'” Keyser added.

The sound was coming from 61-year-old Gilbert Gregory’s ultra light airplane. He had taken off from Hummel Field in Middlesex County, just minutes before.

“When it got over top of those trees that’s when the back of it [the plane] went boom,” Keyser said. “Then it got right there and that’s when the wings flipped up and when it started spiraling out of control.”

The plane crashed down in the woods behind Keyser’s home, near Wake Road.

“I’m like oh my God an airplane is going down,” she said.

Keyser feared the worst.

“I told them there was no way that person made that,” Keyser added.

Crews rushed out and had to use chainsaws to clear a path to get to the wreckage. Gregory was killed. 10 On Your Side is told his plan was equipped with a parachute, but it was never used.

“I feel sad,” Keyser said.

No one yet knows what caused the crash. Fellow pilots tell 10 On Your Side the conditions were perfect for flying.

The NTSB and FAA are investigating the cause of the crash.

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