Pilot’s Daughter Killed in New Year’s Day Airplane Accident News

Pilot’s Daughter Killed in New Year’s Day Airplane Accident


January 6, 2011. By Gordon Gibb

Orange, MA: The crash of a small, private plane on the first day of 2011 injured the pilot and killed his passenger after a twin-engine Cessna 310F went down into a swamp near Orange Municipal Airport. What heightened the tragedy of the January 1 plane crash was that the victim was the pilot’s adult daughter.

Pilot's Daughter Killed in New Year's Day Airplane AccidentThe accident happened New Year’s Day around 6 pm. According to the January 3 edition of the Massachusetts Telegram & Gazette, pilot Steven T. Fay, who owned the plane, was attempting a touch-and-go landing when the aircraft went down just outside a fence at the boundary of the airport.

The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) is investigating the crash, and is speculating that the plane may have clipped the tops of some nearby trees. The landing gear was found about 100 feet away from the plane, which landed upside down in a swamp.

Fay was found by witnesses bleeding from the airplane crash, in a state of shock and calling out for his daughter. Jessica Fay was eventually found lying in the swamp, unconscious, by area residents who heard the plane go down and rushed to the area to help. CPR was performed on the stricken woman by her father, followed by a police officer. Sadly, the plane crash victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

Investigators noted that both wings had separated from the fuselage prior to impact, and an FAA spokesman suggested the plane appeared to have impacted trees. Massachusetts state police said the plane was approaching the airport southbound when it went out of control—and there is speculation that trees striking the landing gear may have caused the pilot to lose control.

An interesting sidebar is the height of trees within immediate proximity to the airport. According to the assistant manager of the facility, tree height may have, indeed, played a factor in the Airplane Accident.

“If the FAA determines the treetops are penetrating the airspace, they may determine they need to be removed,” said John G. Vanbobo. “The homeowner owns right up to the fence. If the trees are in line with the main approach (to the airport), there is legal recourse for that.”

One wonders if there may be the potential for a wrongful death lawsuit, if it is determined the trees near the airport were too high. According to the Telegram & Gazette, two people were killed in August when their Cessna 172 Skyhawk crashed into the woods 20 minutes after their plane was refueled at Orange Municipal Airport.

Three days before Christmas, a Spencer man was killed when the single-engine Piper he was flying apparently clipped the tops of tress as he was approaching the runway of an airport the man owned in Spencer.

The New Year’s Day accident happened an hour after the airport normally closes. However, pilots have the authority and capability of engaging runway lights remotely, and have use of the facility after hours. Sadly, the New Years Day plane crash ended tragically for the plane crash victims. Steven Fay is from New Hampshire.


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