SPENCER (CBS/AP) – A pilot was killed in a small plane crash at Spencer Airport Wednesday morning.
Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Jim Peters says the agency got word from local authorities just before 9 a.m. that a single-engine Piper went down.
WBZ Radio’s Lana Jones reports
“I heard the plane coming in. There was a distraction and I didn’t hear the boom but I heard the engine stop all of a sudden and I thought it was kind of strange,” said Caleb Itterman.
“It was just like a big crack, like a big boom. I didn’t know what to think. It sounded like a clap of thunder,” said Rebekah Itterman.
Gregg Andrews, 50, the owner of the airport, was killed in the crash. He was the only person on board. Authorities say he was the father of a 10-year-old son and 19-year-old daughter.
WBZ-TV’s Ron Sanders reports
FAA records show the plane is registered to Howard A. Eddy of West Brookfield, Mass., who was not on the plane.
David Stark was a friend of the Andrews.
“How he crashed, nobody knows because he was an excellent pilot and everything he did, he did great,” Stark told WBZ.
The wreckage is upside down in a field near some trees with one wing up in a tree. It came down only several hundred feet from houses in subdivisions on either side of it.
Authorities say it appears that Andrews was taking off and headed to Fitchburg Airport to perform service on another plane.
“Everybody liked Greg. He was a fixture in this community. He has been for many, many years. Never heard an unkind word said about him and it’s just a tragedy,” said Michael Forhan, a fellow pilot who knew Andrews and works with one of his cousins.
There is no information yet on weather conditions at the time.
Investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration and Massachusetts Aeronautics Commission, as well as State Police, are still on the scene. National Transportation Safety Board investigators are expected Thursday morning.
The privately-owned airport has a 1,930-foot, gravel runway.
Spencer is just west of Worcester.
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