Pilot Killed in Chester County Plane Crash: School Board President Identified in Tragic Accident

COATESVILLE, Pa. – Tragedy struck in Chester County when a small plane crashed just two minutes after takeoff, claiming the life of the aircraft’s pilot, who was also identified as the school board president of the Octorara School District. The pilot, Sam Ganow, was the sole occupant of the plane at the time of the crash, which occurred in West Caln Township on Thursday afternoon.

Family members of the pilot arrived at the crash site shortly after the incident. Fortunately, the plane came down in a backyard, narrowly avoiding an Amish farmhouse and cabinetry shop. Additionally, a woman who was inside the house at the time of the crash narrowly escaped harm as well.

Authorities reported that the aircraft crashed dangerously close to the house, narrowly missing it, according to Curt Martinez of the West Caln Township Police. The flight history of the plane showed a brief two-minute flight path from Chester County Carlson Airport before it went down.

The pilot, identified as 65-year-old Sam Ganow from Cocharanville, was remembered by the Octoraro School Board for his 26 years of service as a board member. FAA records show that the 1978 Grumman GA-7 plane, which had passed inspection just last May, was owned by a Lancaster Auto Repair business.

Nearby resident Sergio Ponce, who was working on the property at the time of the crash, recalled hearing the plane go down. Living in close proximity to an airport, Ponce expressed that the possibility of a crash was always in the back of his mind.

The cause of the crash is currently under investigation by the FAA and the NTSB, and further details are expected to emerge as the investigation progresses.