NEW YORK — Investigators say bad weather and poor visibility may have been factors in a New York plane crash that killed a great-grandson of Standard Oil co-founder John D. Rockefeller.

The National Transportation Safety Board said Saturday that Richard Rockefeller of Falmouth, Maine, was flying in dark, rainy and foggy conditions June 13 when his Piper Meridian crashed just after takeoff from Westchester County Airport. It narrowly missed a house in Purchase, New York.

The NTSB said clouds were about 200 feet above the ground and visibility was limited to a quarter-mile.

The report said the 65-year-old doctor had more than 5,000 hours of flight experience and that he was required to wear corrective lenses.

Rockefeller was the only person aboard. He was returning home to Maine after celebrating father David Rockefeller’s 99th birthday.

Rockefeller had a family medicine practice in Portland for nearly two decades, until 2000. He was also a former chairman of the Maine Coast Heritage Trust, an organization he was involved with for about 40 years; served on the board of the Portland Museum of Art; and helped establish Hour Exchange Portland, which emphasized bartering services as a way to build stronger community ties.

Nationally, he was known for his involvement in helping to found Doctors Without Borders, an organization that is devoted to getting medical care to people in poor and remote areas of the world, Rockefeller’s work with the organization took him on field assignments to South America, Africa and Southeast Asia.


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