Suffolk, Va – Barry Raymond Newgent, 73, of Davidsonville, Maryland and his son Thomas Barry Newgent, 51, of Westminster, Maryland were killed Saturday when their single engine, experimental plane crashed in Suffolk as they were on the way to the Festival of Flight, according to State Police.
The father, Barry Newgent was the owner and pilot of the plane.
The plane crashed in a field 1:00 Saturday afternoon, near the Southside Trailer Park in the area of Turlington Road and Old Somerton Road.
“It was loud, really loud like BOOM, like a cannon on a concrete wall echoing,” Suffolk resident Tony Fowler says.
Police say the plane attempted to land several times at the air show before it crashed.
Federal investigators say kit-built airplanes crash at a higher rate than any others. Federal studies show it’s not a problem with the planes, but a problem with the pilots.
The National Transportation Safety Board says the pilots had “significantly less experience” in these kinds of airplanes and that led to more crashes.
In 2010, a plane crashed heading from Wakefield to Suffolk and NTSB records show the pilot was at fault.
In the last 10 years, 23 percent of fatal accidents in Virginia involved experimental planes. But, members of the Experimental Amateur Aircraft Association believe these kinds of home-built airplanes are just getting a bad rap.
It is still unknown still why Newgent’s plane crashed this weekend.