Man killed, investigation underway in Bedford – NBC Boston

The pilot was killed when a twin-engine plane bound for Manchester-Boston Regional Airport in New Hampshire crashed Friday night.

Shortly after 11:30 p.m., Bedford Police said they received the first 911 calls reporting a plane crash on the banks of the Merrimack River near 14 Technology Drive, about 2,000 feet or less from the airport .

Bedford Police responded to the crash site and found the wreckage completely ablaze. The Bedford Fire Department also responded and extinguished the blaze. When it was over, part of the plane was all that was left.

Residents on both sides of the river – in Bedford and Manchester – heard the crash.

“My dad heard it like a huge whistle then a crash,” said Kristina Shalygina of Manchester. “And he immediately got up to look out the window and he just saw a huge explosion of flames.”

The pilot and sole occupant of the plane who died in the crash has been tentatively identified as Emanuel Vomvolakis, 23, of Linden, Michigan. The positive identification is awaiting an autopsy.

Officials said they were not yet sure how experienced a Vomvolakis pilot was.

The plane was operated by Castle Air from Canton, Ohio, and carried medical supplies. The flight, which took off from Essex County Airport in Fairfield, New Jersey, at 10:50 p.m., was heading for Manchester Airport when the pilot reported an engine problem just before the crash.

Bedford Police Chief John Bryfonski said the crash was very close to a neighborhood and it was fortuitous that the plane did not hit anyone or crash into any buildings in the area.

“There are a number of apartment and condo complexes just a few hundred yards away,” he said. “We are very grateful that despite the tragedy involved, it did not involve any other building or person on the ground.”

Bryfonski said it was not yet clear whether any fuel from the plane spilled into the river.

“There was a hell of a fire,” he said. “Whether or not it consumed all the fuel that may have been on the plane, we don’t know. “

The accident investigation will be conducted by the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration.

The FAA said on Saturday morning that the plane was a Swearingen SA-226 twin-turboprop that reported an engine failure on final approach to Manchester-Boston Regional Airport.

“The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate,” the agency said in a statement. “The NTSB will be in charge of the investigation and will provide additional updates.”

“We hate to see loss of life in a situation like this,” Bryfonski said. “We are thinking of family and loved ones, as well as colleagues in the largely aviation community who must suffer the trauma of these kinds of things, especially during the holiday season.

The public is urged to avoid the heritage trail near 14 Technology Drive in Bedford while the investigation continues.

Investigators set up a command post along the riverbank near the edge of a forest near where the plan failed.

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