Two people were injured Wednesday, Aug. 27 afternoon after a small airplane crashed and caught fire, police said.
Emergency crews responded to the scene at 101 Amity Park Road, where a small, privately-owned grass runway known as Bert’s Field is located.
Firefighters tackled a blaze consuming the plane, which was pointed down a short incline off the south side of the runway.
It was unclear whether the plane was taking off or landing when the crash and fire occurred. Police initially responded to the area of 55 Amity Park Road around 3:27 p.m. for a report of a plane flying in the area and then witnesses saw a smoke plume, according to a press release from Amity police.
The airplane was occupied by John Bertagna, who resides at 101 Amity Park Road, and Steven Bosshard of Manasquan, N.J., police said.
The two men were able to free themselves from the wreckage by the time emergency crews arrived. One man suffered relatively minor injuries but the second person suffered significant head injuries in the incident, according to sources. The more severely injured man may have been carried from the plane, sources said.
Police would say only that Bertagna suffered “visible injuries” and Bosshard suffered “unknown injuries.”
Both were reportedly hospitalized but it could not be determined where they were taken.
Fire crews from both Amity and Monarch fire companies were able to put out the fire relatively quickly but most of the plane had either been destroyed by fire or the impact of the crash. Only the skeleton of the plane’s tale remained intact, complete with rear landing wheel.
What kind of plane was involved was not immediately clear. There was some speculation by those on scene that it may have been an “ultralight” plane or one built from a kit, potentially a biplane, but that was not immediately confirmed.
The scene was taped off by police after fire crews finished working on the plane.
The Federal Aviation Administration was notified and is expected to begin its investigation of the crash on Thursday, police said.
Amity police were assisted at the scene by the Monarch and Amity fire companies and Southern Berks EMS.
Bert’s Field is 2,264 feet long and 100 feet wide, according to AirNav.com, and is owned by John Bertagna. Sources said the airfield was originally built many years ago by John’s late father.
AirNav also lists just one single-engine aircraft permanently based out of the small airfield, but does not give further details on the plane.
Anyone who witnessed the incident is asked to call Amity Township Police Department at 610-689-6002.