Rockefeller great-grandson killed in plane crash - New York News

Rockefeller great-grandson killed in plane crash

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- In this April 12, 1999 file photo, Dr. Richard Rockefeller speaks at a news conference in Portland, Maine. Rockefeller was killed in a plane crash on June 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File) - In this April 12, 1999 file photo, Dr. Richard Rockefeller speaks at a news conference in Portland, Maine. Rockefeller was killed in a plane crash on June 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)
The wreckage of a plane that crashed in Westchester. Dr. Richard Rockefeller died in the crash. (MyFoxNY.com photo / Ti-Hua Chang) The wreckage of a plane that crashed in Westchester. Dr. Richard Rockefeller died in the crash. (MyFoxNY.com photo / Ti-Hua Chang)
NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

The pilot of a small plane that crashed near Westchester County Airport on Friday was Dr. Richard Rockefeller, the great- grandson of oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller, according to a family spokesperson.

The single-engine Piper Meridian registered to Rockefeller went down in a residential area at Cottage Rd. and Route 120 at about 8:15 a.m. in Purchase, New York.

The aircraft, which was registered in Portland, Maine, took off in foggy weather at 8:08 a.m. from the airport's Runway 6 going south and then banked north to head home to Falmouth, Maine, officials told reporters. The plane struck some trees before going down amid rain and fog near the campus of SUNY Purchase, about a mile from the airport, police said. The plane narrowly missed a home, officials said. The tail landed on the roof of the house. The fuselage ended up about 50 yards away in the horse riding area, Ti-Hua Chang reported.

No passengers were on board.

Rockefeller, 65, was a doctor and father of two. His great-grandfather, John D. Rockefeller, was co-founder of the Standard Oil Company. Richard Rockefeller was in town visiting his father, David Rockefeller, who recently turned 99. He was also a nephew of former Vice President Nelson A. Rockefeller, who served as governor of New York for almost 15 years.

The Rockefeller family issued a statement calling the incident a "terrible tragedy."

"The family is in shock. Richard was a wonderful and cherished son, brother, husband father and grandfather," the statement said. "He was an experienced pilot and respected medical doctor. It is just horribly sad."

Purchase, a hamlet of the town of Harrison, is about 30 miles north of New York City.

The Federal Aviation Administration responded to the crash site to investigate. The National Transportation Safety Board was en route from Washington, D.C.

Westchester County Airport was closed and reopened at 9:35 a.m.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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