Crash in backyard

Gepubliceerd op 10 februari 2024 om 08:46

©️ CBS Boston

LONDONDERRY, N.H. - A small twin-engine cargo plane crashed very close to a home in Londonderry, New Hampshire Friday morning, leaving the pilot seriously hurt.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, Wiggins Air Flight 1046 had just left Manchester Airport and was headed to Presque Isle International Airport in Maine when it crashed around 7:30 a.m. The Manchester airport director said the pilot made an emergency call to airport control after take off.

At a news conference Friday, Londonderry Fire Chief Bo Butler said the Beechcraft 99 went down in the woods behind 5 Colonial Drive, at the edge of a backyard about 70 feet from the home there.

"We feel very blessed to be alive right now because it's so close to our house," the homeowner Eddie Saktanaset told WBZ-TV.

He said he and his wife heard a loud boom and they started getting calls from their neighbors. When they ran outside, they found the plane had crashed in the woods behind his house.

"I was surprised to see a plane crash," Saktanaset said. "It sounded more like trees falling down."

Brian Croteau is a retired firefighter and paramedic. He was inside his home when he and his wife heard the bang. He ran to the smoking plane and his wife called 911.

"He was banged up badly, and he could only kind of mumble at me. He was trying to get himself out," Croteau said. "We came out and I got up on the plane to see if he was OK to see if I could get them out."

Londonderry Deputy Fire Chief Philip LeBlanc told WBZ the pilot was conscious the entire time and was one of the many people who called 911 to report the crash.

PLANE CRASH: Home surveillance caught the moments a plane crashed in a Londonderry NH backyard. Watch it fly through the trees tilted. The pilot is ALIVE & being treated for serious injuries at a Boston hospital.

"He did a great job of bringing the plane down in the woods between a lot of large trees," without hitting trees or homes, the deputy chief said. "I'm no pilot, but I give him a lot of credit."

"It was a challenging environment because as you can imagine, the fuselage is very compromised and damaged. So getting access to the pilot himself through the crews and through the rescue tools was very, very difficult. But ultimately, they pulled it off relatively quickly," the fire chief told reporters. "He ought to play the lottery, for sure. This was a very significant emergency response that we responded to and a lot of things could have gone wrong further than the aircraft crash in itself."

The pilot, who has not been identified, was rushed to the hospital with serious injuries. Butler said he was later moved to a hospital in Boston, but there were no more details on his condition. The pilot was the only one on board. No one on the ground was hurt and authorities said no property was damaged. The plane was about to deliver packages to Maine when it went down.

Butler said there was no fire, but there were about 250 gallons of jet fuel on board at the time of the crash, so a hazardous materials team was called in for the cleanup.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will look into what caused the crash. Wiggins Air said in a statement it "is cooperating fully with authorities."

The same type of aircraft operated by Wiggins Airways crashed in Litchfield, Maine in August, killing two people on board.

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