Small plane crash in New Hampshire claims two lives
Pilot unconscious, untrained teen-age passenger at controlsJanuary 17, 1997
Web posted at 5:45 p.m. EST
ALTON, New Hampshire (CNN) -- With its pilot incapacitated by carbon monoxide fumes, a small plane flew over three states Friday with an untrained teen-age passenger at the controls before crashing in New Hampshire, the Federal Aviation Administration said. The pilot and the girl were killed.
Air traffic controllers in New York tried to coach the girl piloting the single-engine plane, but they lost contact at 1:38 p.m. when the plane crashed, said FAA spokesman Les Dorr.
Airborne searchers spotted wreckage, a suitcase and duffel bags on the ground in woods near Lake Winnipesaukee, where temperatures were in the single digits and wind chills well below zero, a spokesman for the Alton Fire Department told CNN.
A sheriff's deputy confirmed the fatalities.
The controllers said the girl at the controls may have become lethargic from the same fumes that affected the pilot. He had apparently passed out from carbon monoxide poisoning, a controller at Sikorsky Airport in Stratford, Connecticut said.
The single-engine plane, believed to be a Piper Cherokee, first contacted controllers while flying over New York airspace. Controllers were told the pilot had fallen ill and they directed the young passenger to fly it north into Connecticut.
It's not clear where the flight started.
A planned landing at Sikorsky Airport in Stratford, Connecticut, never happened, although fire trucks were waiting at the airfield, said airport spokesman Michael O'Donnell.
The plane, a four-seater, continued northward into New Hampshire airspace with other aircraft following it to maintain visual contact.
A Connecticut National Guard helicopter tried to follow the plane in hopes of coaching the girl into a landing, but could not keep up, Maj. Mark Rousseau told New England Cable News. "I was setting up a flight instructor so we could talk it down if we could get communications, but there were no radio communications."
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