February 25, 2022
A small plane crashed into a neighborhood in Hilltown Township on Thursday evening, killing the pilot and one passenger, authorities said.
The National Transportation Safety Board had an investigator on the scene of the accident Friday, 6ABC reported. The agency will conduct interviews with witnesses, review footage of the crash and gather other information including radar data and aircraft control communications.
On Saturday, authorities identified the deceased as Brian Filippini, 55, a husband and father of three from Philadelphia who owned the plane, and Alfred George Piranian, 74, from Chalfont.
Investigators told 6ABC that it was a commercial instructional flight, which means one of the pilots already had a private license but was training to get a commercial license.
The sound of an engine sputtering could be heard before the single-engine aircraft hit the ground, causing a thick cloud of black smoke.
Warning: the video below contains images that may be upsetting.
No fatalities were reported on the ground, but at least one home in the neighborhood sustained damage from debris and an unoccupied vehicle was struck.
The plane initially took off from Wings Field Airport in Blue Bell at 4:13 p.m. and landed at the Doylestown Airport nine minutes later, the Courier Times reported. At 4:26 p.m. the plane departed for Gunden Airport, a privately owned airport outside Sellersville.
The remains of the plane remained in Hilltown on Friday, surrounded on the ground by a cordon meant to keep fuel from spilling into the neighborhood.
The NTSB is investigating a deadly small plane crash in Bucks County. You can see how close the plane was to hitting a home before it crashed onto the ground https://t.co/HS3khGuTfd @CBSPhilly pic.twitter.com/mc1Aec5emU— Matt Petrillo (@MattPetrillo) February 25, 2022
A preliminary accident report is expected to be available next month, but it won't include a cause, according to the Courier Times. That will come with the final report, which will take one to two years to complete.
This is the second fatal plane crash in Bucks County in the last year. In June, a 79-year-old pilot crashed his plane into the woods south of the Doylestown Airport. The cause of that crash is still being investigated.