Reprinted from WMUR.com. By Mike Cronin.
Two men suffered serious injuries in a fiery plane crash Sunday morning near Hampton Airfield, officials said.
The small plane went down at 9:40 a.m. in the woods off Cedar Road in North Hampton, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. The Piper PA-28 caught fire after crashing about 2,000 feet from the end of the runway and about 150 yards from a home.
Lt. Jason Lajoie of North Hampton Fire Department said the plane went through trees before it hit the ground.
“It actually went through the trees, impacted the ground, but it seems like the trees broke its impact, which probably resulted in them not getting extremely severe injuries,” Lajoie said.
The passenger suffered burns to about 10 percent of his upper body and was taken to Portsmouth Regional Hospital and then flown by a medical helicopter to a Boston hospital. The pilot suffered facial injuries and was treated at Portsmouth Regional Hospital.
Officials say although the passenger needed help getting out of the woods, both men were able to get out of the plane on their own.
“Given the severity of the crash, and from the number of phone calls that were coming in, I was anticipating that they both were going to be trapped. However, when we got there, I was very surprised to find that they were able to exit the aircraft on their own,” Lajoie said.
The names of the people involved in the crash were not released. According to the FAA, the plane is registered to Ronald Gagnon, from Biddeford, Maine. The agency has not said whether Gagnon was one of the people on board.
Firefighters extinguished the small fire.
Chief Michael Maddocks of the North Hampton Police Department said the plane touched down at Hampton Airfield prior to the crash.
“So they didn’t spend any time at the Hampton Airfield other than landing, then taxiing, and taking off again,” Maddocks said.
One wing ripped off and went into the trees. Otherwise, the plane was intact.
Officials are investigating the cause of the crash.
The crash closed Cedar Road in North Hampton. Drivers were urged to avoid the area.
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