The aircraft went down shortly after takeoff as it was headed to Maine
A pilot whose airplane crashed in New Hampshire is lucky to be alive after he narrowly missed colliding with a home.
While the identity of the man has been withheld, officials said he was the only person on board. He was conscious and able to dial 911 afterward.
“He ought to play the lottery, for sure,” Londonderry Fire Chief Bo Butler said at a press conference on Friday following the incident. “This was a very significant emergency response that we responded to and a lot of things could have gone wrong further than the aircraft crashing itself.”
As Butler addressed the media, he stated that the plane crash happened at approximately 7:30 a.m. local time. The aircraft had just taken off from Manchester-Boston Regional Airport and was en route to Maine.
Minutes later, first responders arrived at the scene near Wiley Hill Road and Colonial Drive and confirmed the twin-engine Beechcraft 99 cargo plane had landed between 70 and 100 feet away from a residence.
The pilot sustained serious injuries. He was taken to a Boston-area hospital and listed in critical condition.
Several neighbors spoke to news outlets, sharing their accounts of what happened.
One family shared security footage that captured the crash with NBC 10 Boston.
Brian Croteau, a resident who rushed to the scene to help, told the outlet that the pilot was “pinned up against the dash” and “trying to get his belt off” when he found him.
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Another resident, Eddie Saktanaset, recalled his family’s confusion: "We just heard a loud thump behind the house, you know, like a lightning sound. A lot of trees were coming down."
Butler called the crash “an incredibly high risk, low frequency event that was professionally and competently mitigated by the members of the Londonderry Fire Department.”
“It was one of those situations where there’s not a lot of experience, so that’s where training comes into play,” he said.
Debris was scattered around the plane and the area was taped off. Londonderry Deputy Fire Chief Phillip LeBlanc told 7NEWS that the plane was carrying just over 250 gallons of fuel, which spilled into the woods where he landed.
Gasoline could be smelled throughout the neighborhood after the crash, and Butler said crews were working to minimize any pollution.
"We have been actively booming the area for hazardous relief mitigation," he said. "We do have some wetlands behind the residences where the plane went down that we're taking into consideration with our booming measures going on."
According to a press release shared by the Londonderry Police Department, the FAA and NTSB are involved in an active investigation of the situation.
“I’m deeply appreciative of the response of the first responders to be on the scene as quickly as possible and very appreciative of just this entire collaborative effort that we have had thus far,” Manchester Mayor Jay Ruais said.
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