Medical flight crashes, killing pilots on way to pick up sick patient

Two pilots who were killed this week when a small plane crashed in New Jersey were on a non-emergency medical flight to pick up a patient in Massachusetts for treatment in Philadelphia, officials said.

Pilot Robert Winner, 69, of Marlton, and co-pilot Timothy Scannevin, 71, of Southampton, both died shortly after the twin-engine Hawker Beechcraft 58 Baron went down in Springfield Township, in Burlington County, NJ.com reported.

Ellen Williams, executive director of Angel Flight, told the outlet that Winner was a volunteer with the program that provides free flights to patients needing care at distant medical facilities.

"He was generous and selfless," Williams said. "He was a wonderful man." 

“My dad chose to spend his time flying people to hospitals,” Winner’s son, Jeff, told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “He didn’t have anywhere to go yesterday. He just wanted to help someone.”

“My dad chose to spend his time flying people to hospitals. He didn’t have anywhere to go yesterday. He just wanted to help someone.”

- Jeff Winner, son of pilot killed in crash

Scannevin was not affiliated with Angel Flight East, she said.

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Two pilots killed this week represented Angel Flight East, which provides air transportation for medical and disaster-relief purposes.  (Facebook)

The plane crashed about six minutes after taking off from South Jersey Regional Airport in Lumberton, FOX29 Philadelphia reported. The plane traveled through an open field and rows of trees before coming to a stop in a second open field.

The National Transportation Safety Board said no distress call was made before the plane went down. The cause of the crash was under investigation.

Winner, who owned the plane, had flown 16 missions for the organization since joining in 2013, the Inquirer reported.