The Taunton plane crash victims have been identified as 61-year-old Doland Deslauriers and 69-year-old John Schmouth. The victims’ names were released this morning. However, their identities will not be official until dental records are examined.
As reported by Boston.com, the Aeronca 7AC plane crashed around 6:30 am at the Taunton Municipal Airport in Massachusetts. The plane was built in 1946. However, it was recently obtained by the owner.
The plane was largely destroyed in the crash and the resulting fire. Investigators will attempt to determine the cause by examining the wreckage and maintenance records.
As the plane was small, the pilot was not required to file a flight plan. Airport commissioner James Madigan explains:
“There isn’t much to the aircraft… It’s a fabric-covered aircraft… It’s just like you get in your car and drive. You don’t have to tell anybody where you’re going.”
Authorities at the scene expect the crash was caused by pilot error or mechanical failure. Mayor Thomas Hoye Jr. spoke at the airport, stating that the Taunton plane crash “looks like a horrible accident… a terrible tragedy.”
Witnesses explain that the pilot was attempting to take off when the plane crashed on the runway. John Schmouth was identified as the pilot, and Doland Deslauriers as the passenger.
Nobody else was injured in the crash or the fire.
Keith Holloway, with the National Transportation Safety Board, explains that the Aeronca 7AC debuted in 1945. The small planes featured one front propeller, and a wide wing along the fuselage.
As reported by CS Monitor, the plane was extensively damaged. Madigan states that the plane’s serial number was completely destroyed, making identification difficult.
Rescue workers had to dismantle the plane to recover the bodies. The victims’ families were notified about the crash. However, their identification will not be official until autopsies are performed.
The Taunton plane crash is still under investigation.
[Image via Wikimedia]