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Plane Crash Caused By Hot Air Balloons On Vermont Runway

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Crash TV

MIDDLETOWN SPRINGS, Vt. -- A small plane that couldn't land at its intended destination because of a hot air balloon festival ran out of fuel and crashed in Vermont on Saturday, injuring both men on board, police said.

Vermont State Police said neither man was seriously hurt when the single-engine Cessna crashed around 9:30 a.m. in Middletown Springs.

According to police, the pilot had intended to land at an airport in Glen Falls, N.Y., but had to turn back after spotting hot air balloons and cars on the runway. He turned toward Rutland, Vt., intending to refuel there but fell a couple miles short, according to police.

The pilot, identified as Richard Piccirilli, 65, of Sun City, Calif. suffered lacerations and a possibly broken wrist, according to police. His passenger, David Querry, 53, of Hemet, Calif., got a cut on his nose. Both men refused immediate medical attention.

A phone listing for Piccirilli was disconnected and a phone number for Querry was not immediately available. The men had taken off earlier in the day from a grass airstrip near Burlington, Vt.

The Federal Aviation Administration will begin an investigation Monday.

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