Victims of fatal plane crash near a Hunterdon County airport identified; no pre-crash failure, NTSB says

FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, N.J. (Hunterdon County) – The victims of Sunday’s fatal aircraft crash near Sky Manor Airport have been identified as Gerald Budge, 59, of Robbinsville, NJ and Karen Lowe, 52, of Telford, PA, Hunterdon County Prosecutor Anthony Kearns III said.

At approximately 12:29 p.m. a 911 call was received by Hunterdon County Communications reporting an aircraft accident at Sky Manor Airport, Kearns said.

State Troopers from State Police Kingwood barracks and members of Quakertown Fire and Rescue responded to the scene. The aircraft crashed approximately one half mile southwest of the runway at Sky Manor Airport, Kearns said.

The aircraft was recovered in a residential neighborhood at the intersection of Sky Manor Road and Oak Summit Road.

National Transportation Safety Board Public Affairs Officer Peter Knudson said, the plane was a Mooney M20J.

According to Knudson, The private pilot and passenger left Trenton-Robbinsville Airport in Mercer County, NJ to make their final destination Sky Manor Airport.

According to witnesses, Knudson said ” The pilot made its first approach to land and then did a go-around. As the pilot made its second approach, the airplane landed then went airborne and crashed into nearby trees.” A go-around is an aborted landing of an aircraft that is on final approach.

“It’s unknown how high the plane went airborne before crashing,” Knudson said.

“There was no pre-crash failure, no post-crash fire and there was fuel onboard,” Knudson said.

There was no damage to any residential property reported. The State Police Crime Scene Unit and detectives from the Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s Office also responded to process the scene.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are continuing the crash investigation.

The Hunterdon County and Franklin Township Emergency Management also responded and provided assistance during the recovery efforts.

“Our condolences go out to the families of the victims. The names of the victims will be released pending the notification of the next of kin. I commend the quick response of our first responders and their continued service to our community,” Kearns said.

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By: Jay Edwards
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