Two Massachusetts brothers’ mission to scatter their recently deceased father’s ashes in the high skies ended in tragedy when their single engine-plane crashed, in an accident that killed one man and has left the other seriously injured and in critical condition.
On August 24, around 4 p.m., Scott and Patrick Landis’ Aeronca 7AC Champion plane crashed into a pond near Cranland Airport in Hanson, NECN reports. According to the outlet, Scott was an experienced helicopter pilot who served in the Army National Guard, had previously flown military Blackhawk helicopters, and had been piloting the aircraft loaned to him.
According to Enterprise News, Scott has been stationed in Kosovo and was on bereavement leave following the death of his father. Younger brother Patrick was the only passenger on board.
Don Conway, an uncle of the two brothers, told Boston 25 that Scott and Patrick had just spread their father’s ashes from the plane, and he believes the crash happened due to mechanical error.
“From what I understand they were coming back from doing that, and I guess witnesses say they heard sputtering,” Conway said. “But Scotty is a very established pilot, so it couldn’t have been pilot error because he’s meticulous when he flies.”
NECN reports that after emergency personnel responded to the scene, Scott was airlifted to Boston’s Massachusetts General Hospital, where he died Saturday morning as result of his injuries. Patrick was airlifted to Boston’s Tufts Medical Center, where he remains in critical condition.
The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed to Boston 25 that they will be investigating in conjunction with the National Transportation Safety Board.
Landis leaves behind a wife and one-year-old son, Enterprise News reports.