The female passenger, 68, was forced to take control of the small plane and crash land on Martha’s Vineyard, while the pilot, 79, suffered a medical emergency – and was taken to hospital in a life-threatening condition.
The plane was flying from Westchester County, New York – about an hour away The pilot had to eject and is now in life-threatening condition Passengers were uninjured, although the plane’s wing was broken in half on landing
A 68-year-old female passenger managed to crash a small plane on a Massachusetts island when the elderly pilot suffered a medical emergency.
The pilot, 79, was incapacitated by an unknown medical condition mid-flight Saturday — but a quick-thinking passenger grabbed the controls and was able to land the plane near Martha’s Vineyard Airport in West Tisbury.
Their plane took off from Westchester County, New York, which is about an hour by air from Martha’s Vineyard.
The left wing of the aircraft broke in half after a hard landing off the runway, Massachusetts State Police said.
A short clip of the incident shows the plane – a 2006 Piper Meridian – on the grass with the side doors open, surrounded by government vehicles and several people wearing high-vis jackets.
A small plane crashed near a runway at Martha’s Vineyard Airport on Saturday when the 79-year-old pilot suffered an unspecified medical emergency mid-flight and a quick-thinking female passenger, 68, took control and was able to ground the plane.
Local police said the plane landed on its belly without the usual preparation for grounding and the pilot had to be ejected from the plane.
He was taken to a Boston hospital in critical condition, the female passenger was also taken to the hospital but was soon released without injury.
The runway at Martha’s Vineyard Airport was initially closed, but reopened shortly after on Saturday.
John F. Kennedy Jr. — son of the former president — died in a nearby plane crash nearly 24 years ago
The aircraft has been moved to a safe location at the airport.
The National Transportation Safety Board is leading the investigation, with Massachusetts State Police and the FAA assisting.
A preliminary report is expected to be released by the FAA on Monday.
The crash happened almost 24 years ago on the day John F. Kennedy Jr. – son of former US President JFK – died after flying a light plane into the Atlantic Ocean near the same island.
Kennedy Jr.’s wife Caroline Bessett and sister-in-law Lorraine Bessett were also on board and died during the crash on July 16, 1999.
Their Piper departed from Essex County Airport in Saratoga, New Jersey and followed the Connecticut coastline and across Rhode Island Sound to Martha’s Vineyard Airport.
Their plane — a 2006 Piper Meridian — was flying from Westchester County, New York, about an hour by air from Martha’s Vineyard, an island off the south coast of Massachusetts.
Kennedy Jr. (right) and his wife Caroline Bessett (left) – as well as his sister Lorraine Bessett – were on board the wrecked plane when it crashed into the Atlantic Ocean near Martha’s Vineyard on July 16, 1999.
Kennedy Jr. was flying a Piper Saratoga PA-32R-301T from New York to Martha’s Vineyard when tragedy struck. Photo: The model plane he was piloting
An official investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) concluded that Kennedy suffered spatial disorientation while landing over water at night and lost control of his aircraft as a result.
Their report added that ‘fog’ and ‘dark night’ conditions may also have contributed to the accident.
The deaths were the latest in a long history of affecting the presidential family known as the ‘Kennedy curse’.
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