Two people were seriously injured when their single-engine plane crashed in a freshly plowed field in Finksburg yesterday.
Witnesses said the pair, a female pilot and male passenger, were found hanging upside down in their safety harnesses after the two-seat Cessna 152 hit the ground nose-first and flipped over about 2:50 p.m..
State police identified the pilot as Joan Marie Macri, 35, of the 9500 block of Tailspin Lane in Middle River. The passenger was identified as Richard Eugene Anderson, 55, of Shrewsbury, Pa.
Both were flown to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. Last night, Ms. Macri was in serious but stable condition, and Mr. Anderson was in critical condition.
The crash occurred half a mile south of Route 140 and about a block from the old Reservoir Airport.
Police said the plane, which had been rented at Martin State Airport in Middle River, was heading toward Carroll County Regional Airport in Westminster when it crashed.
Troopers said the two victims were unable to provide information about the crash because they were in and out of consciousness at the scene.
Bob Blizzard, who lives in a mo- bile home park beside the airfield, said his dog, which barks whenever a plane flies low in the area, "ran amok and I saw the plane circle the airstrip as if it was going to land.
"There is no windsock to show the wind direction, so I started pointing to the clothes on the clothesline [beside the mobile homes] to show them the way the wind was blowing," Mr. Blizzard said.
He said the plane made a large circle and flew over the airstrip again.
"I could hear the engine sputter as it passed over the trees and started toward a grass field," he said. "But then the wind lifted the front of the plane and it went up and straight down."
Bill Fabrick, who once operated Reservoir Airport as a private airstrip, said he was the first person to reach the overturned airplane.
"I saw this plane circle several times. I thought it was going to land on the strip, but then it crossed over and crashed in the field," said Mr. Fabrick, who was visiting with a friend who lives on Murray Road.
"I jumped into my truck and drove across the grass and into the plowed field next to the wing," he said. "I saw the people hanging upside down and was able to release the harness and get the woman out first. She had some serious facial injuries and she was bleeding."
Mr. Fabrick said he had trouble getting the man out of the plane, but finally was able to free him and pull him out onto a wing.
"His face was all bloody and he had a broken leg. He didn't seem to know where he was," he said.
Mr. Blizzard said he ran through brier bushes and got to the overturned aircraft as the passenger was being pulled from it. The high-winged Cessna did not catch fire after the crash.
Firefighters, engines and ambulances from the Reese, Gamber and Reisterstown stations were dispatched to the crash site.
The crash will be investigated by the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board.