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A small plane crashed in a wooded area behind a home in southern New Hampshire shortly after takeoff Friday morning, and the pilot — the sole occupant — was pulled alive from the wreckage, officials said. 

The aircraft, a Beechcraft Model 99 twin-engine turboprop cargo plane, went down at the edge of a backyard on Colonial Drive in Londonderry around 7:30 a.m. after departing Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, according to the Londonderry Fire Department and a spokesperson for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The pilot, who has not been identified, was pulled from the wreckage and transported to a local hospital and then to a hospital in Boston, Londonderry Fire Chief Bo Butler said at a press conference. 

Officials did not reveal the nature of the victim’s injuries, although the pilot was one of several people to call 911 for help and was conscious the entire time, Butler said. 


Photos from the scene show the twisted metal of the wreckage on the ground between trees, and the tail of the aircraft appears to have broken off. 

“He [the pilot] was probably about 70 feet from a residence, a single-family residence, where the line of the residence met the tree line of the woods,” Butler said.

“Very, very close.”

Wiggins Air Flight 1046 was on its way to Presque Isle International Airport in Maine when it crashed, the FAA said.

It is unclear what caused the aircraft to crash, although investigators said the pilot radioed for help shortly after takeoff.

“It was a challenging environment because, as you can imagine, the fuselage is very compromised and damaged,” Butler said. “So, getting access to the pilot himself through the crews and through the rescue tools was very, very difficult. But, ultimately, they pulled it off relatively quickly.”

Wreckage of plane crash in a neighborhood surrounding trees


Butler said the pilot was lucky to survive.

“He ought to play the lottery, for sure. This was a very significant emergency response that we responded to, and a lot of things could have gone wrong further than the aircraft crashing itself. So, the mitigation efforts were very impactful and successful in this case.”

Butler praised his team for its quick response. A crew was on the scene eight minutes after receiving the 911 call, he said. 

Wreckage of plane crash in a neighborhood surrounding trees

“This was an incredibly high-risk, low-frequency event that was professionally and competently mitigated by members of the Londonderry Fire Department,” Butler said, noting there were downed power lines and the aircraft had around 250 gallons of fuel on board. A hazardous materials management (HAZMAT) team also responded, but there was no fire, he said.

Eddie Saktanaset, who owns the home near the crash site, told WBZ-TV that he and his wife heard a loud boom, and they started getting calls from their neighbors. 

Londonderry Chairman John Farell Town Council, Police officers, Fire chief Butler, Mayor of Manchester, Ted Kitchens airport director,

“We feel very blessed to be alive right now because it’s so close to our house,” Saktanaset said.

When they ran outside, they found the plane had crashed in the woods behind his house. 

“I was surprised to see a plane crash,” Saktanaset said. “It sounded more like trees falling down.”

The crash had no impact on other flights using Manchester-Boston Regional Airport.

Red fire vehicle, police car, fake deer, snow on ground, trees

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