Authorities have identified two people killed in a plane crash in Queen Anne's County on Tue
As investigation continues into Tuesday's plane crash in Stevensville, friends of the pilot and passenger who were killed in the crash say the Ellicott City residents were known for their adventurous outlook on life.
According to Maryland State Police, pilot Richard Hess, 63, and his passenger Janet Metz, 56, died after their rental plane – a white and red Van's RV-12 aircraft – crashed near the Bay Bridge Airport around 12:45 p.m. Tuesday.
Representatives of Chesapeake Sport Pilot flight school nearby said the plane took off from their premises, and that Hess was a flight instructor at the school.
Priscilla Holdt said she worked with Hess for several years at Chesapeake Proflight flight school at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, where he was a flight instructor in the Initial Flight Screening program for the Naval Academy.
"The IFS program was very intensive," Holdt said. "We had a short amount of time to get a large amount of students trained and [Hess] ran through this program for the Naval Academy, preparing students for the program in Pensacola, Fla. He was a very huge part of that because of his knowledge. He was very instrumental in helping us with that."
Holdt said Hess later left Chesapeake Proflight, saying "he was just kind of burnt out."
According to his Chesapeake Proflight biography on the Spoke website, Hess was a graduate of the Naval Academy and George Washington University and received his pilot's license in 1974. During his 20 years in the Navy, Hess flew carrier-based jets.
"Richard had the ability to see what it took [to become a pilot] and pass something along," Holdt said. "He really had a way with students because of his knowledge and his humor that made them want to learn. He just wanted to take time off and enjoy flying."
Although unsure if Metz was taking flight lessons, Jeff Brodeur, who knew Metz from high school, said that type of spontaneity wouldn't surprise him or her other classmates at all.
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"Janet loved the zest and passion of taking on new challenges," said Brodeur, a fellow Nova High School graduate in Davie, Fla. "Does it surprise any of us that she was doing something that she loved or wanted to have a good time when she passed? Nope."
Brodeur said he stayed in touch with Metz after she moved in Ellicott City in December.
"Janet was always involved in our reunions, always involved in getting stuff done," he said. "Janet touched so many people wherever she went. There were always people who stayed in touch with her who remember that girl."
"Investigators are continuing to examine the aircraft," National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Keith Holloway said. "I believe that they were able to document the scene and they're still in the process of collecting information."
Holloway said Wednesday that the investigation could take two or three days, and another five to 10 days before the NTSB releases its initial report. Holloway also said it could be 12 to 18 months before the NTSB can determine what caused the crash.