Elderly Pilot Walks Away From Ward Hill Plane Crash; Debris Removal Complete

Workers carry a wing from the downed Pipistrel Sinus airplane to a trailer Thursday. (WHAV News photograph.)

The plane is placed on trailer just feet from the Federal Aviation Administration’s Very High Frequency Omni-Directional Range station. (WHAV News photograph.)

A three-person crew yesterday removed the remains of a small aircraft that made a crash landing the night before at a Ward Hill farm.

The damaged wings of the small Pipistrel Sinus airplane were removed and all of the parts were loaded into a trailer around 2:30, yesterday afternoon. The workers confirmed the Federal Aviation Administration gave permission to have the debris removed from the high peak at Crescent Farm, off Willow Avenue. Farm owner C. Michael Davidowicz was among the first to tend to the reportedly 82-year-old pilot.

“He was already outside the plane,” Davidowicz told WHAV. He said the man, who has not yet been named by Haverhill Police, appeared to suffer only a small cut on his forehead. “Considering you can walk away from a landing, it is a good one,” he added, paraphrasing a popular saying.

The crash happened just before 8:30 p.m., where fireworks onlookers typically gather just a bit later to see the display from above Haverhill Stadium. The pilot reportedly encountered engine problems and was aiming to glide south to Lawrence Municipal Airport when the plane came down near an FAA beacon located at the farm. The plane lost the front landing wheel, skidded about 19 yards and a wing came to rest against a wooden farm fence.

An FAA spokesman confirmed to WHAV Wednesday night that only the pilot was on board and the craft made “a forced landing in a field” 1.5 miles northeast of the airport.

Haverhill Police were alerted to the crash by officials at Lawrence Airport, according to Haverhill Police Capt. Robert P. Pistone. “Haverhill Police Department patrol found the plane at the farm.”

The name of the pilot has not yet been released.

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