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Rockefeller heir killed in crash

Richard Rockefeller

New York, June 15 (PTI): Richard Rockefeller, son of philanthropist David Rockefeller was killed on Friday when his single-engine plane crashed in Westchester County here, a family representative and airport officials said.

Richard, 65, was the only one on board the Piper PA-46- 500TP Meridian aircraft when it crashed less than a mile from an airport near White Plains, airport manager Peter Scherrer said.

He said the plane disappeared from radar and authorities lost contact with the pilot.

Police were notified that a plane had crashed in the hamlet of Purchase, missing a house by about 200 feet, Scherrer was quoted as saying by CNN.

Richard is the great-grandson of Standard Oil founder and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller.

He was headed to Portland, Maine, after flying into New York on Thursday for his father’s 99th birthday, Scherrer said.

He described Richard as an experienced pilot and said the morning was foggy with a quarter-mile visibility.

“This is a terrible tragedy,” the Rockefeller family said in a statement released by spokesperson Fraser P. Seitel.

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

He has two grown children and resided in Falmouth, Maine.

Officials from the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board members are investigating the crash, said Harrison, New York, police chief Anthony Marraccini.

 
 
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