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FREDERICKSBURG, Va. -- Customers fueling up at their local Wawa this morning had front-row seats to a small plane's emergency landing -- right in the gas station parking lot.
According to a report by Fredericksburg.com, a 1968 single-engine aircraft en route from Tampa, Fla., to Charlottesville, Va., was directed to the locally based Stafford Regional Airport due to weather. The pilot, who walked away from the crash unscathed, knew he was short on fuel and diverted to Shannon Airport, also located in Fredericksburg, Va. He crash landed just 100 yards away from the airport runway.
The plane skidded through a field between Shannon Airport hangers and two buildings. It knocked off the top of a mailbox and jumped over a ditch before coming to rest on a grassy island that's part of the entry and exit of the Wawa site. The convenience store is located off Routes 2 and 17 in Spotsylvania, Va.
The crash occurred at approximately 5:50 a.m. and there was thick fog in the area, the news outlet reported. The pilot, 33-year-old Jerome Orlando, had to dodge light poles and trees as he guided down the plane, which sustained only minor damage.
The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board have been notified of the incident, according to the news outlet. This is the third plane crash at Shannon Airport since September; the other two crashes were fatal.
Wawa, Pa.-based Wawa Inc. owns and operates more than 600 convenience stores, including 300 gas stations, in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Florida.