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Mon, Sep 10, 2007

Two Lost, Two Injured In MA C172 Accident

Crash Startles Fly-In Attendees

Two persons onboard a Cessna 172 were killed, and another two injured, when their plane apparently stalled shortly after takeoff Saturday from Mansfield Municipal Airport (1B9.)

Attendees of a fly-in at the airport told the Mansfield (MA) Sun Chronicle the aircraft went down as it turned back to the airport after takeoff. 

"The plane was taking off. It looked like he wasn't clearing the trees. He pulled the nose up and he stalled it," said one witness, identified only as Bob, among those attending an EAA Chapter 701 meeting at the time of the accident. "It went straight down and a big cloud of dust came up when he hit the ground."

"He was taking off. He went about to the end of the field. It didn't look like he could make it clear of the trees. He wasn't going fast enough to get any altitude," said another witness, Bill Edwards.

The accident aircraft was not participating in the EAA meeting, according to officials, but had flown in from Maine to pick up a passenger.

FAA spokeswoman Holly Baker said the plane's pilot issued a mayday call before the accident, because the plane wasn't able to climb out.

Witness Roland Daignault says the plane was no more than 200 feet in the air when it stalled.

"The guy was taking off and he had his flaps down. He had a hard time gaining altitude. He was going really slow," Daignault said. "He took a sharp turn to the left. His left wing dipped. He was just going to slow. He went straight down nose first."

Survivors of the accident were transported to Boston-area hospitals via medical helicopters. There was no word on their conditions as of Saturday evening.

Witnesses said it was the first accident at the airport in 20 years.

FMI: www.faa.gov

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