Watch as police remove a plane that killed former New England mayor

Lauren Perry
March 3, 2017

The pilot, Al Lavender, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board were at a Methuen apartment building Wednesday morning, one day after a small plane crashed into one of the buildings, killing the pilot.

The building is inhabitable, officials said.

Nochunk was watching TV in his condo right next to the one that was destroyed by the crash.

In Newburyport, where Lavender had lived since 1973, the flag in front of City Hall flew at half-staff on Tuesday.

Kit plane enthusiasts say that experimental planes such as Lavender's Sonex (pictured) are just as safe as regular production aircraft.

There were no reported injuries to residents of the building, located in Methuen across the Merrimack River from Lawrence Municipal Airport and about 20 miles southwest of Newburyport.

A crane lifted the plane out of the attic and top-floor condo and placed it onto a flatbed truck that was expected to deliver the plane to an aviation salvage facility in New Bedford late last night.

"Then all of a sudden all the smoke alarms went off, and I went outside my back, and stuff was coming off the roof", Kimball said.

"We just got out, we automatically got out", she mentioned.

"I watched it fall out of the sky", said Lontine.

Lontine said he regularly watches aircraft landing at Lawrence Municipal Airport.

The two-seat, single-engine Sonex is a "fairly robust" aircraft, he said, adding that they are quite common. Four people - three adults and one child - were seriously injured in a 1999 crash.

From an aerial view, a hole with what appeared to be the tail of the plane sticking out of the roof could be seen.

Other reports by VgToday

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