Tracking Site Shows Unusual Flight Path
ANN REALTIME UPDATE 08.12.08 2330
EDT: Authorities have released the identities of the three
people lost in the Tuesday morning downing of an Angel Flight plane
in Easton, MA.
WCVB-5 in Boston reports Easton police identified the pilot as
Joe Baker. He was flying Robert Gregory, 43, to a treatment
appointment at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Robert's wife
Donna, 37, was also killed.
Meanwhile, investigators are still working to determine what
caused the 1956 Beech BE35 Bonanza to crash, on what had appeared
to be a routine flight.
"What we can tell is there were three fatalities in the
aircraft. As to what happened, as to what may have transpired prior
to that, we don't know at this point," said Wally Bunker, of the
Massachusetts Aeronautics Commission.
In related news, online flight tracking provider FlightAware.com
shows an unusual track for the accident flight, which was on an IFR
Whether the displayed path (shown below) is an indication of
problems in flight -- as opposed to an odd series
of vectors from ATC into Logan International -- remains
1300 EDT: For the second time within the past
four weeks, it is ANN's sad duty to report on the fatal downing of
an aircraft performing an Angel Flight mission.
The Boston Herald reports three people -- a male cancer patient,
his wife, and the plane's pilot -- were lost when their Beechcraft
Bonanza crashed in a strip mall parking lot in Easton, MA Tuesday
morning. The aircraft was flying from Francis S. Gabreski Airport
(FOK) in Westhampton Beach, NY to Logan International in Boston, on
a mission for Angel Flight New England.
The aircraft disappeared from radar about 20 miles southwest of
Logan, said FAA spokesman Jim Peters, and impacted the parking lot
at approximately 10:15 am EDT.
Peters added a preliminary investigation showed "nothing wrong"
with the plane, but he was quick to add "that could change."
Witnesses said the plane broke out of clouds about 400 feet
above the ground, in a spiraling dive. The aircraft broke apart on
impact, bursting into flames next to a supermarket.
"It was very fortunate
no one in the parking lot was hurt. It was miraculous," said Easton
Deputy Police Chief Allen Krajcik.
"When I looked up I could see the underbelly
clearly. I could see the tail clearly," added witness Jennifer
Esmond, who had just pulled into the supermarket parking lot when
the plane crashed. "There was no landing gear down. There was no
attempt for it to slow down. It crashed with the nose in a nosedive
and it erupted into a ball of flames. There was black smoke
Tuesday's crash in Massachusetts was the second time
in four weeks an aircraft performing an Angel Flight mission
As ANN reported, three people were killed when
a Beech A36 crashed on takeoff from Vandenberg Airport near Tampa,
FL on July 16. The plane's pilot was flying a female cancer patient
and a family friend home, following the woman's last treatment.
Angel Flight pilots donate their time to ferry medical patients
for treatments, free of charge. The pilots also pick up the costs
of the flight.