Pilot Walks Away After Crashing Restored Army Plane

A private, 1947 refurbished Army plane crashed into a grassy area near the runway at Marlboro Airport Saturday afternoon, and its pilot walked away with minor injuries, according to authorities.

Federal Aviation Administration officials investigated the crash yesterday and Saturday.

Police have not released the name of the Westboro man who crashed his airplane while landing at Marlboro Airport at about 4 p.m. Saturday. The 60-year-old pilot was the only passenger in the single-engine military plane, according to authorities.

There was a fire in the passenger compartment of the airplane upon landing, but the pilot received only a scratch on his hand, Deputy Chief Fred Flynn said.

Deputy Chief Flynn said the airplane clipped some trees on the runway, causing the plane to spin when going into its landing. It then dove into the grassy area near the runway. Deputy Chief Flynn said the fire was extinguished very quickly, but it appeared the plane was totaled. The airport was closed for about 30 minutes Saturday.

The pilot talked to nearby people immediately after the crash, according to Deputy Chief Flynn. "He got out of the plane and walked away," Deputy Chief Flynn said.

G. Robert Stetson Jr., the owner and manager of the Marlboro Airport, 685 Farm Road, said the crash occurred at least 800 feet from any other aircraft. Mr. Stetson said yesterday he was unsure of the cause of the crash.

"I'm sure nobody knows yet," he said, adding that the pilot was wearing a seat belt and was not traveling at excessive speed at the time of the crash.

Mr. Stetson said FAA officials moved the airplane out of way to an isolated area. In addition to FAA officials, officials from the Massachusetts Aeronautics Commission also investigated the crash yesterday.

The refurbished airplane was based at Marlboro Airport for many years, according to Mr. Stetson.

"It's always sad,'' Mr. Stetson said, "when you've got one that's irreplaceable."

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