Student pilot crashes plane at Northampton Airport

  • Northampton Police and Northampton Fire departments respond to a plane crash in a cornfield Saturday shortly before noon. —Gazette Staff/Stephanie Murray

  • A plane flown by a student pilot went off the runway and crashed in a cornfield at Northampton Airport shortly before noon Saturday. —Gazette Staff/Stephanie Murray

  • Plane Crash in a corn field in Northampton. CAROL LOLLIS—Gazette Staff/Carol Lollis

  • Police cars park by the corn field where the plane crashed Saturday afternoon in Northampton. CAROL LOLLIS—Gazette Staff/Carol Lollis

  • Plane Crash in Northampton. CAROL LOLLIS—Gazette Staff/Carol Lollis

@StephMurr_Jour
Published: 8/6/2016 1:41:12 PM

NORTHAMPTON — A plane flown by a student pilot went off the runway and crashed in a cornfield at Northampton Airport shortly before noon Saturday.

There were no injuries, police said. The plane was carrying two people at the time of the crash: A 29-year-old woman from Westfield and a 58-year-old man from Northampton.

Both people exited the plane unscathed and walked down the runway for help. Policy did not say which passenger was the student.

Police initially responded to a call at 11:48 a.m. for an unknown situation with a plane off-ramp at the airport. According to police, the caller used a cell phone and was located at Northampton Airport.

Flashing lights were visible from the outskirts of the runway as first responders from Northampton Police Department and Northampton Fire Department rushed to the scene. Police and firefighters brushed through the cornfield to access the site of the crash.

Some 10 feet into the field, the plane sat with its door hanging open. The plane was surrounded by flattened corn stalks it mowed down during the crash. The plane did not catch fire, firefighters said.

The incident remains under investigation. According to police, a mechanical issue is likely to blame. Police said the early investigation suggests the plane attempted takeoff and lost power. An official cause has not yet been determined.

John Smith is a flight instructor at Northampton Airport. He rushed to the scene when he heard there was a crash. The last time he flew the plane, it was in good shape, he said. 

“Luckily, there are no injuries,” Smith said. “But what we do have, is a bent up plane.” 

The plane is a small four-passenger, single engine model owned by Hampden Aviation Services, according to FlightAware, a website that tracks plane data.

According to police, the federal government will review the instructor.

The crash is the second this week at Northampton Airport. A pilot was uninjured in a crash Thursday after a bad landing. Airport manager Rich MacIsaac said the incidents are unrelated.


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